Time to recommit to renewable energy

Senvion Australia today called on the Australian Government to end the investor uncertainty by recommitting to an effective Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The call comes after the release of the independent Climate Change Authority’s legislative review of the RET that calls on the Government to consider increasing and extending the RET scheme beyond 2020.

The CCA found that, “in the absence of credible alternative policies, RET-type arrangements might be required to support increased penetration of renewables in electricity for some time.”

The CCA Report highlights that cutting the RET will result in a windfall to big polluters of $9.3 billion at the expense of tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment in the clean energy sector.

Senvion’s chief executive, Andreas Nauen, said the lack of a long-term and bipartisan policy on renewables had stalled investment and damaged Australia’s reputation as a safe place to invest.

“The endless reviews – including two in the last year alone – have damaged Australia’s international reputation and brought the local industry to a standstill,” Mr Nauen said.

Senvion employs over 160 people in Australia and has invested more than $2.5 billion in 18 wind farm projects across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

The South Australian Government has approved the company’s plans to build the $1.5 billion Ceres Project, that will create a further 500 construction and 50 ongoing jobs on the Yorke Peninsula. However, the project faces uncertainty as a result of the lack of clarity around the future of the RET.

Welcoming the recommendations from the CCA’s review as further evidence of the need for action on renewables, Senvion Australia’s chief executive, Chris Judd, called on the Government to heed the independent advice.

“What it boils down to is whether Australia wants to continue to rely on old and polluting coal-fired power stations, or whether it wants to support global action to tackle climate change and make the switch to renewable energy,” Mr Judd said.

Time to recommit to renewable energy (PDF, 17 kByte)