Macedon Ranges-based renewable energy company, WestWind, says confidence is returning to the sector after the Andrews government’s VRET announcement. “From our perspective it is welcome news snippet, we are curious to see what comes out of it,” WestWind Managing director Toby Geiger told The Courier.
WestWind’s positive response to the Andrew government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap, effectively the draft of the forthcoming Action Plan to be released later this year, stands in contrast to the sectors experience of the Abbott government.
The uncertainty unleashed by the Abbott-led Coalition has cost Australia’s renewable energy sector dearly. On the Prime Minister’s watch, investment has collapsed by 90 per cent and over 2,500 people working in the sector have lost their job. Not content with its savage 20 per cent cut to the national Renewable Energy Target, the Abbott government has dictated to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation that it can no longer invest in wind farms and rooftop solar power.
Leadership from the states is turning around the fortunes of the renewable energy sector. WestWind is not alone in it’s support for the Andrews government’s developing renewable energy policy. The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the roadmap last week.
But not everyone is happy with the government’s announcement. Victoria’s first shadow renewable energy minister, David Southwick, told The Courier the roadmap was just another review. “This announcement was about creating work for consultants and bureaucrats, not delivering new jobs for Victoria,” he said.
Looking forward: Govt to confirm Vic renewable targets in late 2015
The government will finalise state Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025 later this year. It can look at where other states are heading to ensure we pick the target that’s right for Victoria.
The ACT has a renewable energy target of 90 per cent by 2020; South Australia 50 per cent by 2025; and Queensland, 50 percent by 2030. Federally, the Labor opposition has committed to a national goal of 50 per cent by 2030.
Victorian targets that match the ambition of the ACT or South Australia would be welcomed by the community. And it would ensure Victoria is not out-competed by other states.
Ambitious renewable energy targets will create jobs, unleash investment, and encourage action on climate change. This is something all Victorian political parties can support.
If you’d like to join our call for the government to lift the ambition of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets, here are some simple steps you can take…