Friday March 22 was a sad day for fossil fools… Australia’s clean-coal loving energy minister, Martin Ferguson, resigned his post.
Martin Ferguson’s exit from the energy portfolio is good news for Australians who support renewables. Thanks to Ferguson’s mismanagement of the solar flagships program, for example, Australia still doesn’t have large-scale concentrating solar thermal projects online. According to RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson:
“…no party is more responsible for letting slip opportunities on leadership in the solar field than the federal government itself. It will go to the 2013 election with not a single panel or heliostat installed from its $1.5 billion Solar Flagships program, despite more than 50 projects worth some $80 billion jostling for a bite of the action when it was first announced in 2009.”
It’s about time Australia had an energy minister understands that renewable energy can power our economy and drives a renewables boom. Yes 2 Renewables hope the next energy minister take an interest in state energy policies and deals with laggards such as Victoria, which has imposed laws that ban wind energy in large swathes of the state.
Prime Minister Gillard also has the opportunity to separate the energy and resources portfolios. After all, if the reign of Ferguson shows us one thing, it’s that when one minister has carriage of the conflicting energy and resources portfolios, fossil fuels take precedence over clean renewable energy.