A new report has revealed that the lowest electricity prices in Australia and more than 1,000 jobs are amongst the benefits created by the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) trailblazing renewable energy policies.
The Climate Council report Territory Trailblazer: How the ACT Became the Renewable Capital of Australia finds that Australia’s wind sector would likely have struggled to continue without the support of the ACT during extended periods of federal uncertainty.
“At the end of last year, the only wind projects under construction in Australia were those supported by the ACT’s policy,” Climate councillor and energy expert Andrew Stock said.
“And while more than 5,000 jobs in renewable energy were lost nationally between 2012-2015, the ACT’s policy created more than 1,000 jobs in construction across the ACT, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.”
The report found that the ACT’s model could be used as an example for other states and cities.
It also found:
- The ACT is on track to acquire enough large-scale renewable energy to meet its 100% renewable electricity target by 2020.
- The ACT has supported the development of 640MW of large scale solar and wind capacity.
- The reverse auction process has delivered record low wind and solar electricity prices, and has provided transparency around the low cost of renewable electricity in Australia.
- Households in the ACT will continue to pay among the lowest electricity prices in Australia even with the small additional cost of supporting renewable energy.
- The ACT is also breaking new ground in public support for battery technology by supporting the installation of 36MW of energy storage across more than 5,000 households and businesses by 2020 – the largest battery storage rollout in Australia.
“The ACT is certainly different from other states, being small in size and population and with no major industries or fossil-fuelled generation,” Climate councillor and ex-ARENA chair Greg Bourne said.
“But the ACT’s approach to sourcing large amounts of renewable electricity in a short period of time, while also delivering a range of economic and community outcomes provides a model for other Australian states, the Northern Territory and our cities to learn from.
“The ACT has shown that setting a seriously ambitious renewable energy target is not only affordable but achievable and also creates jobs and investment.”
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