Media Releases | 11th Oct, 2018

New analysis: Victorian renewables jobs and investment future on a knife-edge

New analysis released today shows that this November, Victorian clean energy jobs and future renewables investment are on a knife-edge.

Environment Victoria’s report, Maximising the Benefits of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target, shows what Victorians already know: Victoria is sitting on a renewable energy boom. But analysis also reveals that by building on current policies, the state government has the potential to create thousands of jobs and drive billions of dollars of investment. However, the state Liberal party proposal to slash the VRET would see renewable energy investment grind to a halt.

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“Victoria has taken huge steps in the last four years – now we need to lock in progress and make sure we keep building wind and solar farms,” said Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria.

“Our analysis provides a state based solution to the dire findings of the IPCC report. With the Morrison government providing no plan to drive down climate pollution to achieve net zero emissions, it is up to our state government to take charge as a climate leader.

“Victoria has a pipeline of over 4400 MW renewables projects in early stages of development. That’s enough renewables to power over 6.6 million homes by the middle of the next decade and avoid over 15 million tonnes of carbon pollution every year.

“With no federal energy target and no national policy to support new investment in wind and solar in Victoria, any future state government that fails to maximise the VRET would be missing out on up to 12,200 jobs.

“In the past four years Labor has been delivering for clean energy, but they haven’t yet committed to the next phase of building big wind and solar farms and have shared little detail about how they will achieve the 40% renewable energy target.

“To ensure that we maximize renewable energy construction we need to send a clear message that Victoria is the home of renewable energy in Australia by guaranteeing that we will bring at least 1000 MW of new large-scale renewable energy online every year till 2025.

“Matthew Guy’s plan to cancel the VRET would see all renewable energy construction stop by 2020. It’s ridiculous, when you look at this new analysis, that the Victorian Liberal Party are happy to actively damage investment and job growth in regional Victoria.

“Matthew Guy would be prudent to review his ideologically driven position on clean energy in light of this new analysis. His position on wind and solar would be highly damaging for investment in this state. Victorians want clean, affordable energy and they don’t want the next Victorian Premier to turn his back on 12,200 new clean energy jobs or action on climate change,” said Mr Wakeham.

ANALYSIS SUMMARY

The analysis examined three policy scenarios:

  1. Maintaining Victoria’s current VRET policy of 40% by 2025
  2. Maximising certainty within the VRET through an annual “renewable energy guarantee”
  3. Cancelling the VRET and putting in place no new policy to encourage the construction of large-scale renewable energy

Significant findings included:

  • The current VRET policy is driving significant renewable energy construction. However, it does not provide enough certainty to unlock all the projects in development or to maximize the creation of local jobs in manufacturing components for wind and solar projects such as making wind towers, cabling or solar mounting systems.
  • Victoria could significantly improve the investment environment for renewable energy and associated manufacturing by announcing a Renewable Energy Guarantee, which would require the Minister to ensure to announce policy measures to bring new renewable energy capacity online when annual project development falls short of 1000 MW a year. This Guarantee would ensure Victoria achieves the VRET.
  • The Renewable Energy Guarantee would ensure that the entire pipeline of projects in early development in Victoria will be built. It would give industry certainty and clarity, unlocking investment in business that produce wind tower, cabling and solar mounting systems.
  • Cancelling the VRET will lead to no major new renewable energy projects would be built in Victoria (beyond projects already committed as policies that have driven projects to date are fully subscribed and there are no Federal policies remaining that would drive new investment.

Click here to see the full report

For interview and further comment

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501
m.wakeham@environmentvictoria.org.au

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