1. Power Victoria with 100% clean energy
Getting to 100% renewables by 2030 will mean rapidly transforming how Victoria produces and delivers energy. To do this, the Victorian government must commit to a well-planned roll out of infrastructure that unlocks jobs in our regions and garners broad community support.
No new gas extraction.
Victoria must wean itself off gas. This fossil fuel has no place in our energy transformation. The Victorian government must resist calls to open new gas fields in Victoria –onshore or offshore –and commit to phasing out gas reliance.
Accelerate transmission and distribution infrastructure.
One of the biggest barriers to replacing fossil fuels with renewables in transforming our electricity grid. The Victorian government, working with VicGrid, AusNet, power companies, landholders, the federal government and the community, must build transmission and distribution infrastructure to ensure renewable-generated energy is delivered to the grid. Starting with free prior and informed consent for First Nations and Traditional Owners, a carefully planned transmission and distribution roll-out with an integrated community engagement plan should unlock jobs and economic development, especially in our regions.
Increase Victoria’s energy storage capacity.
Part of securing our energy transformation means ensuring we have appropriate energy storage capacity, through technologies such as batteries, heat pumps, and pumped hydropower from existing hydropower sources. The Victorian government can help to achieve this by committing to:
• building at least two additional huge batteries to complement the Victorian Big Battery, for example in the Latrobe Valley where pre-existing transmission infrastructure can help deliver power to the national grid;
• research and construct geothermal and/or underground heat pumps under public spaces such as parks and reserves;
• working with states and territories in the National Electricity Market to achieve an energy storage target.
Develop community engagement framework for energy infrastructure planning.
We need to accelerate renewables infrastructure, including generation, storage and transmission, but we must bring the whole community along in this transformation. Best practice community engagement, determined with all relevant stakeholders, must be used to help everyone understand and accept the challenges we face, the compromises we will need to make, and the opportunities to seize.
Develop and implement gas-transition and electrification and storage solutions for large commercial and industrial energy users.
It will be harder for some industries to transition to electrification. A solution is changing the type of gas that is used. The Victorian government must work closely with industry to develop transition packages and incentives to transition to green hydrogen and storage. This could be done by industry sharing in the opportunities available in renewables energy industrial precincts, and by offering economic advantages and rebates to green hydrogen suppliers and receivers to disconnect from polluting gas and to connect to clean and green hydrogen.
Expand virtual power plant and storage capacity (including batteries and heat pumps).
Virtual power plants must be expanded to entire postcode areas, allowing everyone to share in the clean energy opportunities and savings on power bills.
2.Support for all households – whether you rent, own, or live in social housing – to become more efficient and go all-electric
The best way for Victoria to cut climate pollution and drive down energy bills is to end our reliance on polluting, expensive fossil fuels and to power our lives with affordable, reliable clean energy. By supporting all households to get off gas and get their electricity from wind and solar, backed by storage, the Victorian government will demonstrate its commitment to tackling climate change in ways that benefit all Victorians.
Get houses and small businesses off gas, including a comprehensive package of support for renters and low-income households to replace gas appliances with efficient electric appliances.
The Victorian government must develop a systematic plan to shift people’s homes and small businesses from reliance on gas and onto smart, efficient electric alternatives with energy storage. This will support the renewables roll-out and help drive down energy bills.
Increase Solar Homes remit and incentives to include solar and storage packages for household electrification for all.
Scale up existing program to include solar and storage (batteries or heat pumps) with a sliding scale of incentives to help everyone –especially low-income housing communities and renters –to electrify their households and drive down their power costs.
Expand community storage solutions to bring low-income households and renters into the renewables roll-out.
The Victorian government’s community battery program is a start, but we need to significantly ramp-up theroll-out of energy storage capacity for low-income households, rural communities, renters, apartment and high-rise dwellers, and public housing tenets. Power storage infrastructure, combined with expansion of virtual power plants, will help make sure everyone enjoys the benefit of lower power bills and clean energy –not just homeowners.
Incentivise uptake of zero emissions vehicles by increasing public and home charging stations.
The Victorian government must commit to working with local councils, builders, apartment landlords, homeowners and landlords to get charging and storage capacity into as many households and public places as possible. By building the vehicle charging infrastructure we need people will be more encouraged, and more confident, to purchase electric vehicles.
3. Urgently scale up training and education for careers in transition and clean energy.
The transition to renewable energy is already facing a skills shortage. To avoid a skills crisis, Victoria needs to invest urgently education and training to equip more workers to build, install and maintain our systems and to clean up the mess left behind after coal. The Victorian Government must work with communities like the Latrobe Valley, who powered our state for decades, to ensure they can seize the economic opportunities that clean energy brings.
Develop TAFE and university courses to train our new cohort of career power workers.
Working in the electricity sector can still provide a job for life. By working in partnership with TAFEs and universities, the Victorian government can lead Australia in training and education current and new experts in electricity and power infrastructure to support the energy transformation and ensure we have the people we need to run our electricity systems.
Encourage manufacturing of low emissions products in Victoria
Victoria has a proud history of manufacturing. We have what we need to make electric vehicles and the batteries we need to charge our cars, homes, businesses and lives. The Victorian government must incentivise businesses and experts in these manufacturing areas to make sure we can build the energy transformation right here. Support local manufacturers for production of low emissions products like wind turbine blades and heat pumps.
Make the Latrobe Valley Authority a statutory body and invest in environmental justice for the Latrobe Valley
The Latrobe Valley Authority must be made an independent, well-funded statutory authority to secure its future and role in supporting the Latrobe Valley transition from coal to renewables. The Victorian government must ensure that rehabilitation strategy for the brown coal mines is coordinated and properly cleans up the toxic mess created by decades of coal mining.
Establish renewable energy industrial precincts to facilitate renewable manufacturing and build supply chains for goods we need to make the transition to zero emissions.
To support industry and manufacturing to transition to renewables the Victorian government should announce renewable energy industrial precincts (REIPs), either embedded in renewable energy zones, or connected to the grid by high voltage transmission lines. REIPS will assist in encouraging local and new industries to decarbonise manufacturers without being forced to go it alone.