Blog | 19th Sep, 2017

What the Victorian Renewable Energy Target means for Victoria

UPDATE — 11 9, 2018


Three new wind farms and three new solar farms will be built as part of the first stage of Victoria's renewable energy target.

It was more than expected, and will create hundreds of jobs in regional Victoria and provide support for local manufacturers in Portland and Lilydale.

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The Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) is the latest example of Victoria’s leadership on climate change. Here’s how it happened and what it means.

What does the VRET mean?

The VRET means more clean, renewable energy, and more jobs to create it.

Victoria has enshrined into law a plan to power our state with 40 per cent renewable energy by the year 2025, and 50 per cent by 2030. But more than targets and promises, the VRET has kicked off with a call for contracts to build 650 megawatts of new wind and solar. With bids opening in October, this will result in enough clean energy to power Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined.

Read more about how the VRET will be achieved by using a ‘reverse auction’ policy

Currently, renewable sources make up about 17 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation, with the rest coming from coal and gas. By the end of this year the government will need to determine how much more clean energy is needed to take us to 20 per cent by 2020. By 2025, when the full VRET is achieved, it will reduce Victoria’s climate pollution by 16 per cent and create over 9000 regional jobs in our growing renewable energy sector.

Most importantly, the VRET signals that Victoria is moving away from polluting and toxic coal-burning power by investing in safe, clean energy for the future.


How did this win for clean energy happen?

The VRET is the result of powerful community campaigns across the state to shift Victoria away from polluting coal power and towards clean renewable energy. Friends of the Earth have done fantastic work in their Yes2Renewables campaign to get a state-based target. The Victorian Greens included a VRET in their 2014 election platform and have consistently pushed renewable energy up the agenda in Parliament.

We’re proud of the hundreds of Environment Victoria volunteers and community leaders who have championed the transition from Hazelwood’s coal power to clean renewable energy for many years, including our deep community organising effort since 2013. Their hard work on the ground helped ensure the Andrews government had a strong mandate to act on environmental protection, clean energy and climate change. To their credit, they are delivering. The VRET is the latest step in a positive direction for Victoria’s future.


Where to now?

While Victoria’s renewable energy future is finally within our grasp, it is still under attack from those who would see us stuck in the polluting past. The Victorian Coalition has announced their opposition to the VRET and have launched a series of ugly campaigns spreading misinformation about power prices and supply.

The #VRET puts Vic's clean energy future within reach — we need a rapid transition to cut pollution!Click To Tweet

Ever-growing threats to our climate demand that we make the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy as quickly and fairly as we can. This won’t be possible unless we come together as a community and demand politicians of all stripes get on board with the clean energy revolution and fight for a just transition that benefits all Victorians.

Victorian election 2018

There was a lot at stake in the 2018 Victorian election, so we ran our biggest ever people-powered campaign.