The Andrews government opened the first tranch of its New Energy Jobs Fund in Blackburn today.
The launch comes in the lead up to the release of its Renewable Energy Action Plan that will set Victorian Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025.
Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio launched the $20 million program at RayGen solar headquarters in Blackburn. Grants of between $50,000 and $1 million will be available to support renewable energy and cleantech projects.
Friends of the Earth welcome the initiative and say its shows the Andrews government is gearing up to lift the ambition of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets.
"The Andrews government's support for the renewable energy sector is welcome. It will create jobs, unleash investment, and help the state tackle climate change," said Leigh Ewbank.
"The New Energy Jobs Fund shows the Andrews government is preparing the state to meet ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Targets."
"The $20 million fund is a welcome appetiser, yet industry is hungry for the main course of a VRET."
The Andrews government will release a Renewable Energy Action Plan early in 2016. The plan will set Victorian Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025.
In September, the Premier announced a baseline Victorian Renewable Energy Target of at least 20 per cent by 2020.
Friends of the Earth expect the government to adopt more ambition in the final targets.
“There are enough shovel-ready wind farms and active communities to smash the baseline target of 20 per cent renewable by 2020,” said Leigh Ewbank.
“Ambitious state Renewable Energy Targets will send a signal to investors that Victoria is the place to be for renewable energy.”
NOTE: The Victorian government's media release is available here.