MEDIA RELEASE: 13 July 2017
Friends of the Earth: Coalition of the willing on renewables welcome, but “must deliver existing state/territory commitments”
Friends of the Earth, the environment group that coordinated the campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target, welcomes the idea of a joint state and territory effort to rollout renewables as long as it delivers existing commitments:
“A coalition of willing states and territories to drive the rollout renewable energy is a good idea, as long as it delivers existing commitments such as the Andrews government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.
“Australians overwhelmingly support more renewable energy and would welcome a joint effort among states and territories that is a race to the top.”
Victorian Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio, the architect of the state Renewable Energy Target (VRET), has flagged the concept of state/territory collaboration on the eve of a Council of Australian Governments Energy Council meeting in Brisbane.
Just over one year ago the Andrews government committed to Victorian Renewable Energy Targets of 1,500 megawatts by 2020 and 5,400 megawatts by 2025 after consulting with hundreds of community members from Mildura to Melbourne to Morwell.
Hitting the Victorian Renewable Energy Target will create over 10,000 jobs, and unleash up to $9 billion in investment, and is already helping secure investor certainty. Crucially, it will put the handbrake on rising energy prices by building the lowest cost new generation, wind and solar.
“As Premier Daniel Andrews noted recently, solar and wind are ‘bill reducing’ technologies,” said Pat Simons.
“With power prices rising due to expensive gas, now’s the time to bring more renewable energy online.”
Wind turbines aren't "eyesores".— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) June 27, 2017
They're job-creating, bill-reducing, energy-generating machines – and they're beautiful. pic.twitter.com/jnGYc4Qsby
Leadership on energy policy from state and territory governments comes amid policy sclerosis at the Federal level.
With the Federal Coalition partyroom failing to reach consensus on the Finkel Review recommendation of a ‘Clean Energy Target’, expectations of progress at the Energy Council meeting are low.
“If the divided Turnbull government can't even have an open conversation about a Clean Energy Target, they can't be trusted to deliver secure, affordable and renewable energy for Australians.”
“The states and territories have lead on renewable energy while the Federal government dithers.”
Friends of the Earth will write to the Victorian Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio requesting more information about the proposal and how it will help the Andrews government deliver its commitment to 40 percent renewable energy (5,400MW) by 2025.