Wind auction result delivers renewable energy and economic benefits to the ACT

Three wind farm’s will supply the ACT with 200 megawatts of renewable energy generation capacity, with a reduction of 580,000 tonnes of emissions each year. This is a serious emissions reduction effort from the ACT Government with broader economic benefits.  This was … Continue reading Wind auction result delivers renewable energy and economic benefits to the ACT

Sharper focus on state renewables policies as Abbott plans to “axe” the RET

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.20.58 pmReports the Abbott government are seeking to “axe” the Renewable Energy Target puts a sharper focus on state government plans for renewable energy. With a Victorian state election on the horizon, voters want to know what plans the major parties have to secure renewable energy jobs and investment.

Renewable Energy & Jobs Forum in Portland on Sunday August 24 will become a crisis meeting since the Abbott government announced its’ intentions for the national Renewable Energy Target.

The Forum, presented by Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables project, the Australian Wind Alliance and local businesses, will allow the political parties to set out their plans to secure jobs and investment in the renewable energy sector.

Former Liberal leader John Hewson is the keynote speaker. Victorian shadow energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio and Greens Leader Greg Barber will attend. Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and Energy Minister Russell Northe have been invited to the event. Stand by for more speaking announcements.  Continue reading “Sharper focus on state renewables policies as Abbott plans to “axe” the RET”

RET Road Trip 8: Renewables Energy Target creates jobs, investment on Canberra’s doorstep

Capital GroupshotFriends of the Earth wrapped up its fact-finding RET Review Road Trip at the Capital wind farm on Thursday June 19—right on Canberra’s doorstep.

We’ve travelled over two thousand kilometres to speak with communities who have benefitted from renewable energy or have been affected by fossil fuel pollution.

When it comes to a Australia’s energy future, the communities we spoke with want more renewable energy. They want politicians to support the existing 41-terawatt-hour Renewable Energy Target.

Continue reading “RET Road Trip 8: Renewables Energy Target creates jobs, investment on Canberra’s doorstep”

RET Road Trip #7 – Blue seats and renewable energy

Group Brighton

Published at Renew Economy.

In the last week of May, Friends of the Earth visited solar homeowners in affluent bayside suburb of Brighton East.

We had previously visited Victoria’s leading solar suburbs of Werribee, Hoppers Crossing and Point Cook. Our trip to Brighton East was to get a sense of what people in a long-standing Liberal seat think of the Warbuton Review and Australia’s energy future.

It turns out that there isn’t really any difference between the two. Like the residents of Melbourne’s western suburbs, the people we spoke with in the seat of Goldstein – the seat held by senior cabinet minister, Andrew Robb – see renewables as the future. The people we spoke with don’t want politicians to weaken the Renewable Energy Target.

Upon arriving at the Coats household in Brighton East we were presented with the inverter and a quick briefing on how much electricity the rooftop solar set up had produced to date.

InverterThe Coats’ 1.5kW solar energy system has made the home a suburban a clean energy power station. For the past five years, it has covered all of the household’s electricity needs.

“It’s fantastic knowing that we never have to worry about another electricity bill. In fact, our energy company owes us,” said Mrs Coats. “It also gives us a lot of pleasure to know that we’re producing our own clean energy and feeding it back into the grid for other people to use.”

Every solar homeowner I meet has an immense pride about their solar system. There’s a sense of achievement in generating your own energy and acting to address climate change. And, let’s not forget the power bill that is now perpetually in credit.

There are an estimated 2,792 solar homes in the seat of Goldstein. Solar has delivered $1.56 million worth of savings on power bills to those who have panels. In the wake of the Victorian government’s decision to reduce the feed-in tariff for solar, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is the next best support mechanism for those with solar aspirations. Continue reading “RET Road Trip #7 – Blue seats and renewable energy”


No Thanks To Congress, America Has Added 5,600 New Clean Energy Jobs In 2014

Published by Climate Progress. View original article.

Despite Congressional refusal to extend tax benefits for clean energy producers, the American economy is still adding thousands of clean energy jobs — just way less than it did when those benefits were intact.

According to a report released Thursday by nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), about 5,600 new clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced throughout the country in the first three months of 2014, a huge decline from the 12,000 such jobs reported in the first quarter of 2013. Part of this decline is due to Congress’ failure to renew the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy, a $13 billion tax break to the wind industry to help them compete with fossil fuels. Continue reading “No Thanks To Congress, America Has Added 5,600 New Clean Energy Jobs In 2014”

Geelong Sustainability Group back wind energy, jobs in Victoria

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.13.54 PMFriends of the Earth‘s recent report on the costs of anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu, and supported by the Napthine government, has put renewable energy on the state election agenda.

The Age featured exclusive coverage of the research report. The Surf Coast Times and Macedon Ranges Guardian, newspapers in the battleground seats of South Barwon and Macedon, reported on the local impacts of the Coalition’s anti-wind farm laws.

These local impacts prompted President of the Geelong Sustainability Group, Dave Campbell, to chimed in on the issue. Campbell sees wind energy as a big opportunity for Geelong’s manufacturers:  Continue reading “Geelong Sustainability Group back wind energy, jobs in Victoria”

RET Road Trip #2: Morwell residents look to renewable energy future

Morwell group shot
Residents pose for a picture with a solar hot water unit to be produced in Morwell.

This article was published by RenewEconomy.

On Wednesday April 16, Friends of the Earth brought its fact-finding RET Review Road Trip to Morwell, in the heart of Victoria’s coal and energy producing Latrobe Valley.

Morwell offered a clear point of contrast to the first stop in our road trip, the Hepburn Wind farm, but what does it have to do with the review of the Renewable Energy Target?

As the recommendations of the review will shape Australia’s energy future it is essential for the reviewers to have a real understanding of how coal power affects communities. Modeling by IES Advisory shows a weakened Renewable Energy Target will result in 6-9 per cent more coal generation, and up to 16 per cent more gas generation. For towns on the coal face this means the outdated fleet of coal generators will keep polluting.

Our visit also allowed us to understand peoples’ views towards the Renewable Energy Target and their vision for Australia’s energy future. Continue reading “RET Road Trip #2: Morwell residents look to renewable energy future”

Protect the Renewable Energy Target


This article was written on the 11th March 2014 by our friends at Solar Citizens.

Here are some facts amd talking points on the RET:

How did the Renewable Energy Target help me go solar?

If you have solar, the renewable energy target helped you make that move. You might not have even known it – the RET provided a subsidy from the Federal Government that lowered the cost of your installation.

How is the RET important for helping others go solar?

Over 3.5 million Australians have solar on their roof, and that number is growing. Millions many more families want to make the move, but without a strong renewable energy target, it will be more expensive to go solar. In such a sunny country, solar just makes sense – producing not only clean energy but also helping families take power over their bills. We need to continue this growth.

Who are the Australians that have solar?

Over 3.5 million Australians are living with solar on their roof. That’s over 1.1 million homes powered by the sun. Support for solar cuts across all demographics and political affiliations. In fact, most Australians who have solar are in rural and regional areas, or postcodes where median incomes are low.[1]

How many jobs does the RET create?

Keeping the RET will help the growing solar industry. In 2013, over 18,000 Australians were employed in the solar industry across 4,000 small to big solar business. These are local jobs that are all across the country – including in remote and regional areas across the country. A recent study found that scrapping the RET could cost up to 7,000 jobs.[2] Additionally, there are over 7,000 jobs in the growing wind industry that would come under threat if the RET were to change.[3]

How much investment is the RET bringing to Australia?

The Renewable Energy Target has already attracted $18.5 billion in new investment to Australia by national and international companies in large solar and wind projects because these investors feel confident in our renewables policies.[4] Changing the RET would mean a reduced investment in Australia – which means less jobs, less industry and much more.

But do Australians want more Renewable Energy?

Australians overwhelmingly support more renewables. Poll after poll shows that Australians want more renewables – not less.  In fact, a recent poll showed that 64% of Australians support the renewable energy target.[5] The RET is a real, tangible way for us to meet the needs of the Australian people.

How does the RET impact on power bills?

The RET is cheap. The RET is a tiny fraction of your energy bill – on average 3% of the total bill. In contrast, gold-plating the grid (unnecessary spending on the poles and wires) make up about 70% of your bill.[6]

How does the RET reduce the cost of electricity?

Not only is the RET a small portion of your bill, but renewables – including solar – are reducing the wholesale price of electricity. South Australia was the only state where power price fell last year, this is credited to the fact that over 30% of their energy is produced by solar and wind.[7]

That’s why we need to take a stand today. We need to protect and expand the RET.


[1]REC Agents Association, Available at:

[2]Available at:

[3] Nigel Morris, SolarBusinessServices.

[4] Clean Energy Council, Available at:

[5] Essential Report, 25 Feb 2014, Available at:

[6] Available at:

[7] RenewEconomy, Available at:


Continue reading “Protect the Renewable Energy Target”

RET Watch: Review puts Australia’s largest wind project in doubt

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 9.43.31 AMThe RET Review has cast a shadow of doubt over Australia’s largest wind farm project that was given the go ahead by the South Australian government in February.

The prospect of the Abbott government reducing or weakening the Renewable Energy Target puts the 600 MW Ceres wind farm at risk (but that’s not all).

“We need a strong RET to move ahead,” managing director of Senvion Australia Chris Judd has told The Advertiser“We don’t want this private investment, that will create 500 construction and 50 ongoing jobs in Australia, to be put at risk.”

Jobs in regional Australia isn’t all that’s at stake. In addition to losing critically important renewable energy capacity, $1.5 billion worth of investment and and estimated $8 million (p.a for 25 years) boost to the local economy could go. Continue reading “RET Watch: Review puts Australia’s largest wind project in doubt”