Friends of the Earth has welcomed the Andrews government's commitment to a Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and has highlighted the need for ambition to attract investment and create jobs while tackling climate change.
The Andrews government announced a Renewable Energy Target of no less than 20 per cent by 2020 while launching its Renewable Energy Roadmap in Portland today. It has committed to establish targets for 2020 and 2025 and it will seek the community's views on what they should be.
"The Andrews government's commitment to a baseline Victorian Renewable Energy Target of at least 20 per cent renewable by 2020 is a positive first step," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.
"It will see more wind farms built across the state, driving investment in farming and regional communities, and creating manufacturing jobs in places such as Portland."
"Victoria needs ramped up renewables targets to seriously tackle climate change as we create jobs and investment."
Preliminary Friends of the Earth analysis shows that the baseline target of at least 20 per cent renewables by 2020 could be easily achieved.
"There are enough approved wind farms in the state for the Andrews government to smash the baseline target of 20 per cent by 2020," said Leigh Ewbank.
"Building the shovel-ready wind farms alone would put us at around 26 percent renewable. And that's not accounting for the rooftop solar revolution that's underway."
Friends of the Earth is optimistic that the Andrews government will increase ambition in the state targets it will set later this year.
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.
"A Victorian target that matches 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."
"The Andrews government has said 'yes' to the community before. It said 'yes' to restore fair laws for wind farms. It said 'yes' to a state-based Renewable Energy Target. Now the community will be looking for them to say 'yes' to ambitious targets."
"Politicians who support jobs, investment, and action on climate change will support ambitious renewable energy targets."
Friends of the Earth says the government's renewables roadmap sketches out a comprehensive plan to grow renewables. The group is awaiting further details about the policy drivers it will use to meet state renewable energy targets.
These details will be finalised in a Renewable Energy Action Plan released later this year.
Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047, Leigh Ewbank 0406 316 176.