Before the end of the year, the Andrews government will make a call on the level of ambition Victoria will commit to on renewables. Pressure has been mounting from all sectors of the community to ensure that Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio sets an ambitious target that goes much further than the initial announcement of 20 per cent by 2020.
Raphael Tamir of Caulfield is one of the voices calling for ambition from the Victorian government (and indeed, the parliament). In a letter to the editor, he spelt out the case for ambition on renewables:
Now is a watershed moment for Victoria’s energy future. The Andrews government will decide before the end of the year what renewable energy targets will be locked in for 2020 and 2025. The targets will be symbolic of Victoria’s commitment to communities and industry. An ambitious target will reflect a serious commitment to Victorian jobs and innovation in the state – a non-ambitious target will be reminiscent of the antiquated policies of the past.
Renewable energy is the most affordable and safe source of energy available. 67 communities across Victoria have declared themselves gas field free, because they don’t want unsafe mining practices threatening their livelihoods. What these communities need is support from their government to move away energy sources that harm Victorians.
If the Andrews government wants to seriously support Victorians, the choice is clear. Declare serious ambition on renewables, or risk harming Victorians and industry. Supporting renewables is the economic thing to do, and now is the time to commit to a clean, safe energy source, that all Victorians can benefit from.
As mentioned, Tamir is a resident of the electorate of Caulfield. This electorate is held by the Liberal member David Southwick, who is the first Shadow Minister for Renewables in Victoria. Recent comments by Southwick are reflecting that the Coalition may have turned a new leaf on renewables policy.
Y2R welcomes these statements from the opposition, and would be eager to see the Coalition give substance to these comments by putting forth practical and ambitious pro-renewables policy.
It is clear that Victoria has enough solar and wind developments currently underway, placing Victoria in a position to comfortably exceed the current baseline targets set by the Labor government. Policies to grow renewables is something that all parties, including the Victorian opposition can support.
An ambitious target by the state government, and strong demands for ambition on renewables from the state opposition would both be strongly welcomed by the people of Victoria.
Some 67 communities from around the state have declared Victoria gasfield free, and hundred upon hundreds made submissions to the government to shape its forthcoming Renewable Energy Action Plan.
With the right policies in place, Victoria can be powered by 30 per cent renewables by 2020, and 50 per cent by 2025, so let’s bring on the policies that can make it happen.
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