While the rudderless Turnbull government remains divided over energy and climate policy, analysis by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows that it is Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target that will secure the state’s energy future.
The report shows Premier Daniel Andrews made the right call setting renewable energy targets for the state in the face of federal inaction: The electricity sector is now gearing up for a much greater rollout of wind and solar power to keep the lights on.
The crucial finding for Victoria is that renewable energy capacity built to meet the VRET will reduce the risk of future blackouts in the state, while creating over 10,000 jobs, attracting investment and meeting commitments to act on climate change.
It comes as no surprise the VRET has been welcomed by the likes of the Clean Energy Council, The Victorian Trades Hall Council, the Australian Wind Alliance, Environment Victoria and the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS).
AEMO expects the VRET will drive investment in nearly 4,900 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity, over and above the 1,600 megawatts of capacity withdrawn when French energy company Engie closed it’s Hazelwood coal plant.
Following news the Andrews government will write the VRET into law, anticipation is building towards the schemes first round of competitive renewable energy auctions, which will deliver the lowest cost renewable energy projects and drive down prices.
This is best practice energy policy – the Turnbull government should be taking a leaf out of Victoria’s book when designing a national approach.
AEMO’s report also finds that Victoria’s renewable energy policies will deliver more energy supply than any current national policy beyond 2020. Why would Victorians support a national Clean Energy Target that delivers less renewable energy jobs and investment to our state?
Josh Frydenberg can show leadership by working with Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and ACT to create a Clean Energy Target that compliments the Victorian Renewable Energy Target.
This should be an easy sell to the Coalition party-room given that renewables will keep the lights on for Victorians into the future.
The analysis is a wakeup call for the Victorian Opposition who currently oppose the VRET despite strong support from their pro-renewables voter base.
It’s time Matthew Guy dropped his ideological approach to energy, and got on board with renewables to protect Victorian families and business from power price rises.
If the Matthew Guy opposition supports more energy supply to reduce future risk of blackouts, they will put an end to their ideological approach to energy and vote yes to the VRET in state parliament.
The community will be watching closely to see if Matthew Guy takes the high road or the low road on renewable energy.
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