Don’t put the wrecking ball through renewables

A major player in the renewable industry today urged the Abbott Government not to adopt the recommendations made by the Warburton RET Review Panel.

“We welcome the Warburton Review’s findings that the Renewable Energy Target has been successful in attracting investment in wind and solar, in creating jobs and in pushing down the cost of electricity for consumers,” said Chris Judd, the chief executive officer of Senvion Australia. “What we can’t understand is why you would want to undermine that now.”

Mr Judd described the panel’s recommendations to close the scheme to new entrants or scale it right back for being too successful as “reckless, short term and visionless”.

“The recommendations will wreck private investment and a clean energy industry that have been fundamental in helping Australia cut pollution, lower power prices and transition to a modern economy.”

“Australia should be open for business to build clean, green infrastructure, instead of turning its back on billions of dollars of private investment,” Mr Judd said.

Senvion Australia has invested over $2.5 billion in 18 wind farms across Australia based on the strength of the longstanding bipartisan support for the RET, which included commitments prior to the election to retain a large scale target of 41,000 GWh.

Senvion has approval to build a $1.5 billion wind farm in South Australia, the first in the country to have no overhead power lines that would power up to 15% of South Australia’s energy requirements, creating 500 construction and 50 ongoing jobs.

“This is the type of nation-building infrastructure that modern economies need. The whole point of the RET was to drive Australia’s transition to a less polluting energy market over an agreed period of time – taking business away from old fossil fuelled generators was part of its design. Now is not the time to wreck renewables.”

“The acknowledgement that the RET scheme has been a very effective policy that is resulting in an oversupply of energy generation, is an excellent justification for a timely and safe retirement of obsolete, dirty generation technology. Persisting with obsolete technologies lacks vision, and creates health, energy security and environmental problems for the next generation.”

Mr Judd said he would welcome the opportunity to work with the Government and Senators to build bipartisan support for renewable energy.

Don't put the wrecking ball through renewables (PDF, 15kByte)