With the leadership challenge behind him, Prime Minister Tony Abbott should move quickly to end the deep freeze on renewable energy projects across the country.
It is now close to one year since the Government’s review of the RET was announced – a bombshell that put the brakes on billions of dollars of clean energy projects. The resulting Warburton Report, released almost six-months ago, proved that any fears that the RET was increasing power prices were completely without foundation. In fact, the Warburton Report concluded, along with many separate studies, that investing in renewables would lead to lower power prices for consumers.
Mr Chris Judd is the CEO of Senvion Australia, a company that has delivered 18 wind farms across Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, channelling over $2.5 billion into Australian businesses.
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s comments that his government needs to put the focus back on jobs, the economy and families. People clearly want more renewables, and, if the Prime Minister keeps his election promise of maintaining the RET, the clean energy industry is ready to deliver billions of dollars in private investment, create thousands of jobs, and drive down power prices,” Mr Judd said.
Senvion Australia has approval to build a $1.5 billion wind farm in South Australia that would create a further 500 construction and 50 ongoing jobs. “This is the type of nation-building infrastructure that modern economies need, and we are very keen to talk to the Prime Minister about the job opportunities in renewables,” Mr Judd said.
Mr Judd said that, with declining demand for electricity, now was the safest time to continue to move steadily to a less-polluting energy base. “We are pleased that negotiations on the future of the RET are back on, but the industry can’t withstand such an uncertain policy environment for much longer. Now is the time for bipartisan support for renewables to be restored, so industry can get on with creating jobs for the future.”
The Government's RET review was announced 17 February 2014. Since then investment in new large-scale renewable energy infrastructure has stalled. Analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that large-scale energy investment in Australia in 2014 fell by 88 per cent compared to the $2 billion invested in 2013. The independent Climate Change Authority, released its legislated review of the RET in December and recommended that the RET scheme be increased and extended beyond 2020.
Now end the impasse on renewables (PDF, 74 kByte)