Environment Victoria has described the energy statement released today by Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe as deeply disappointing and failing to recognise Victoria’s potential to be a renewable energy powerhouse.
Environment Victoria’s CEO Mark Wakeham said today:
“This is the energy policy that the fossil fuel industry would have been wishing for. It outlines no vision or programs that will accelerate the deployment of renewable energy or energy efficiency programs and is obsessed with exploiting gas and coal deposits.
“The statement acknowledges that Victoria’s energy supply is highly polluting with 84% of our electricity supply coming from brown coal power stations and just 12% from renewables.
“Yet the statement fails to identify expanding our share of renewable energy as one of the seven government priorities. Polling shows 4 out of 5 Victorians want more renewable energy.
“It’s really disappointing that the Napthine Government is ignoring the science of global warming and Victorians’ aspirations by acting to protect fossil fuel interests instead of cleaning up our energy supply.”
“The statement claims to support energy efficiency but also admits the Napthine government’s intention to scrap the Victorian energy efficiency target (VEET) in Parliament this week.
“If the Government’s Bill to scrap VEET passes it will directly lead to the loss of 2000 jobs and drive up energy bills for Victorian households and businesses.”
“The statement also rehashes the Government’s tired and failed plan to establish a brown coal export industry in the Latrobe Valley and prioritises investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) despite the fact that no Australian coal generators are prepared to fund CCS efforts themselves.”
Mr Wakeham concluded by saying that the Statement had less ambition to clean up Victoria’s power supply than a similar policy statement released by the Victorian Government in 1985 titled ‘Victoria’s Energy: Strategy and Policy options’. That statement dedicated twice as many pages to discussion of the state’s renewable energy prospects as the 2014 statement.