The Australian reports that efforts to separate the renewable energy target from the emissions trading scheme continue to be promoted - Ministers could split energy bill.
RENEWABLE energy plans, including subsidies for domestic solar panels, could be in place much earlier than expected because the Rudd government is considering altering its climate change plans in the Senate.
Even as the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was blocked in the Senate yesterday by the Coalition, the Greens and independent senators, ministers were considering breaking the legislative links between the emissions scheme and the bill covering renewable energy targets.
Until now, the government has insisted that the CPRS bill and the RET bill, which is designed to set renewable energy targets for Australia's electricity generation of 20 per cent by 2020, had to be linked and to be voted for together.
The Coalition, Greens and independent senators have urged the government to break the link between the bills so they could vote for the renewable energy targets, which they support. The government has been accused of delaying subsidy schemes and new energy projects for purely political gain.
The government has said the bills have to be linked because common compensation claims make them inseparable.
Yesterday, however, government sources suggested the defeat of the CPRS bill meant the government could consider its strategic options of breaking the link between the bills, or decoupling them.
The proposed legislation on renewable energy has been delayed but is expected to be introduced to parliament next week. If the government agrees to decouple the energy bill from emissions trading, the bill can be debated, amended and passed this session, otherwise it will be voted down and only reintroduced with the CPRS bill in November.
A compromise on renewable energy plans would allow the government to maintain the pressure on the Coalition to support the ETS in the Senate and pass it before the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.