ARARAT, 15 JUNE 2016: A renewable energy boom is on the horizon for Victoria as the Andrews government today announces state Renewable Energy Targets (VRET). The long-awaited announcement comes after a two-and-a-half year community campaign to grow renewables.
"The Andrews government's announcement of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is a big win for communities who want a pathway to 100 percent," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.
"These targets will make Victoria the national leader when it comes to renewable energy, which is good newsfor manufacturing, regional communities, and our climate."
"The Andrews government's targets represent the biggest renewable program in Victoria's history."
The Victorian Renewable Energy Targets of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025 will reshape the state's energy system. The program will:
- Double Victoria's wind power generation capacity by 2020.
- Triple Victoria's installed renewable energy generation capacity - making the state a national leader.
- Produce the equivalent 1.3 Hazelwoods worth of energy by 2025, thanks to 5,400 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity.
- Reduce the electricity sector greenhouse gases by 12 percent by 2034.
- By 2025 Victoria will produce enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 6.5 ACTs(Australian Capital Territory).
- Attract an estimated $2.5 billion worth of investment to Victoria.
- Create an estimated 10,000 jobs between the commencement of the program and 2025.
Friends of the Earth say the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets are a big win for manufacturing and jobs.
"The Andrews government’s VRET provides a lifeline for manufacturing in Portland, Glen Waverly, Geelong and the western suburbs of Melbourne," said Leigh Ewbank.
"With an estimated 10,000 jobs created in renewable energy, this is what the transition looks like."
Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson Leigh Ewbank says Premier Daniel Andrews can build on his leadership by adopting a permanent ban on onshore gas and fast track the transition away from coal.
"Premier Andrews can supercharge his climate change initiatives by adopting a permanent ban on risky onshore gas and phasing out coal," said Leigh Ewbank.
"Now that the government has set ambitious Renewable Energy Targets, a plan to phase out coal power and transition coal communities is the priority for state energy policy."
Friends of the Earth is calling on the Victorian opposition to support the Renewable Energy Targets. The organisation says renewable energy is among the issues where all parties can find agreement -such as investing in education and healthcare.
"All available polling shows strong community support for renewable energy. Creating jobs, cutting pollution and acting on climate change is something all parties can support," said Leigh Ewbank.
"The community would welcome opposition leader Matthew Guy's support for Victorian Renewable Energy Targets and the transition to clean energy."
Under Matthew Guy’s leadership, the Victorian opposition has expressed bipartisan support for at least eight issues:
- Government support for dairy farmers.
- The Royal Commission into Family Violence.
- The Victorian Parliament’s apology to the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Support marriage equality (source)
- Changes to adoption laws in Victoria to allow for LGBT and step-parent adoptions.
- Bushfire response on Surf Coast.
- Aboriginal Affairs Policy.
- Syrian Refugee Resettlement.
Friends of the Earth believe the Victorian Renewable Energy Target can be the ninth issue on that list.