MEDIA RELEASE 5 Nov 2020: Andrews govt’s big battery announcement builds momentum for renewables rollout & emissions reductions

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcome the Andrews government’s announcement that Victoria will build Australia’s biggest battery, saying it’s a sign the state government can deliver a clean recovery to COVID-19 while acting on the climate crisis.

The 300 megawatt grid-scale battery project to be built near Geelong will create 85 jobs, accelerate the rollout of renewable energy, and help the Victorian government meet legislated commitments to cut emissions.

Critically, the big battery will help shore up Victoria’s electricity grid, which is facing challenges due to intensifying climate impacts such as summer heatwaves as the state’s ageing and polluting coal generators become increasingly unreliable.

Friends of the Earth say the Andrews government can build on the big battery initiative by using the upcoming state budget to drive a clean, renewables-led economic recovery:

Treasurer Tim Pallas can forge a smarter path for Victoria’s economic recovery—one that creates jobs while cutting emissions,” said Cam Walker of Friends of the Earth.

“We need the Andrews government to plan for the jobs-rich offshore wind industry and invest in critical Public Transport infrastructure like Melbourne Metro 2"

The announcement comes as the Andrews government makes its final decision on the state’s first Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and ‘30:

“Victoria has positioned itself as the national leader on energy storage. Our state can be the national leader on climate by setting science-based Emissions Reduction Targets,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.

The Andrews government protected the lives and livelihoods of Victorians by acting on the best-available science in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We need the government to take the same approach to the climate crisis".

Friends of the Earth and thousands of community members across Victoria have called for the Andrews government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets that help keep global warming below 1.5°C.

We will be closely monitoring the forthcoming budget and decision on Emissions Reduction Targets.

 

For further comment please contact:

Cam Walker, FoE Campaigns Coordinator: cam.walker@foe.org.au, 0419 338 047

Leigh Ewbank, FoE Act on Climate Coordinator: leigh.ewbank@foe.org.au, 0406 316 176