Media Releases | 21st Jul, 2010

Solar moves help clean up Victoria’s energy supply

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Environment Victoria today welcomed plans by the Brumby Government to fast-track the development of large scale solar power for Victoria saying that the move would make it easier to replace polluting power stations like Hazelwood.

The State Government today announced a target for large-scale solar power to meet 5 percent of the State’s energy needs by 2020. The target is supported by the introduction of a feed-in tariff for large scale solar.

Environment Victoria’s Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said;

“Today’s announcement will make Victoria much more attractive as a place to build large scale solar power stations which can contribute to replacing polluting coal-fired power stations like Hazelwood within the next term of government.

“The introduction of a feed-in tariff for large scale solar power stations is very welcome. Victoria is likely to become the preferred state for large scale solar as a result of the premium payment provided by the feed-in tariff. If we can get projects off the ground quickly we may well be able to exceed the 5 percent target.”

“However if we want to lead the nation in both large scale and small scale solar we still need to improve the solar feed-in tariff for households and small businesses to catch up to the incentives offered in NSW and the ACT.”

Mr Wakeham said that it was encouraging that Victoria was looking to exceed national targets for renewable energy and was already building its policy platform for the state election in November, but that more would be required.

“Today’s announcement combined with recent increases to the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target and discussion about the future of Hazelwood power station show an encouraging shift in momentum.

“In the absence of national leadership and a price on carbon Victoria will need to take further measures to support energy efficiency and clean energy to ensure that we can replace the whole of Hazelwood power station and achieve significant cuts to our greenhouse pollution in the next term of government.”

Mr Wakeham concluded that with today’s announcement Ted Baillieu’s Coalition were falling further behind the ALP and Greens in the policy contest on climate change ahead of the state election.

“So far the only climate policy we’ve seen from the Coalition is a plan to stymie the development of wind power. If Ted Baillieu wants to appeal to the vast majority of the community who want action to reduce greenhouse pollution he needs to get some runs on the board quickly.”

For comment:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria 0439 700 501

Media assistance: Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844