Environment Victoria has strongly welcomed Victoria’s new clean energy targets, which will be legislated in coming months.
The Andrews Government has set a target of 25% renewable energy by 2020 (up from the current 14%) and 40% by 2025, which is expected to support 5400 megawatts (MW) of new projects.
Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said today:
“The targets announced today by the Premier and Energy Minister will see Victoria double its wind power capacity by 2020 and quadruple it by 2025, as well as supporting large-scale solar projects in the north of the state.
“We’ve seen the ACT government successfully run auctions to guarantee the construction of renewable energy projects and Victoria will now use that same method, with auctions commencing in early 2017.
“Across the whole country, the renewable energy industry was damaged by the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s slashing of the federal Renewable Energy Target. This is the kick-start we need for new projects and job creation across Victoria.
“The target is expected to create more than 4000 new jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2024. That is more than double the number of jobs Victoria’s coal generators currently provide.
“Regional towns like Portland, where wind turbine towers are manufactured, will also benefit from new manufacturing jobs.”
The targets will be enforced in legislation expected to be introduced into Parliament late this year or in early 2017.
Mr Wakeham continued:
“The renewable energy legislation will be a real test for Matthew Guy’s leadership of the Coalition. The Victorian Coalition has appointed a Shadow Minister for Renewable Energy, but that will be meaningless if the Coalition is not prepared to support this tried and tested method of bringing renewable energy projects on line.
“Matthew Guy needs to decide if his party is going to continue Ted Baillieu and Tony Abbott’s attacks on renewable energy or develop a credible conservative agenda on renewable energy and climate change like Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger or German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Mr Wakeham said that the target and auctions bode well for the Andrews Government’s upcoming Renewable Energy Action Plan, but that there was much more to do to accelerate the shift to pollution-free energy.
“We’re also hoping the Renewable Energy Action Plan delivers better incentives for households and small businesses to install solar and batteries, makes it easier to connect renewable energy projects to the grid and supports low-income Victorians to access clean energy.
“At the end of the day, while we can keep pushing clean energy into the electricity grid, we also need a state government plan for the orderly phase-out of our oldest and dirtiest coal-burning power stations like Hazelwood and Yallourn.
“The upcoming Renewable Energy Action Plan should outline a clear plan to retire coal plants, support a transition for workers and communities in the Latrobe Valley and further ensure a thriving renewable energy industry,” said Mr Wakeham.
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO,
Office: (03) 9341 8127, Mobile: 0439 700 501