RET: Australia can capitalise on renewables boom

23.01.18 By

WITH AUSTRALIA on track to achieve its 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET), the Climate Council is urging the Federal Government to keep up the momentum on clean energy.

The Clean Energy Regulator today confirmed Australia is on track to meet its 2020 Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 GWh (about 23.5% of electricity generation), thanks to a record year for clean energy investment in 2017.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie called on the Federal Government to put in place stronger targets in a bid to drive further investment and slash Australia’s rising greenhouse gas pollution levels and tackle climate change.

“Achieving our 2020 target ahead of schedule shows the value of setting and implementing renewable energy policy. However this growing industry now faces an investment cliff with no Federal policy in place for the decade ahead.the Federal Government has an opportunity to really capitalise on this boom.”

“Research shows that a renewable energy target of 50% could create 28,000 additional jobs nationally in 2030.

“Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, so it’s no surprise that renewable energy is going gangbusters, with 2017 alone seeing more than $11 billion dollars in investment, making Australia seventh for clean energy investment in the world. Without Federal policy we could lose that momentum.”

“Fortunately, states and territories, such as South Australia and Queensland are leading the charge when it comes to the rollout of large-scale wind and solar. While local governments are also rolling up their sleeves in their own backyards.”

“Renewable energy and storage technologies are clean, affordable and reliable, compared to ageing, expensive and inefficient fossil fuels. It’s no surprise that Australians are taking up renewables such as rooftop solar in droves, taking control of their household power bills.”

Climate Council Climate and Energy Analyst, Petra Stock said Australia’s clean energy potential needed to be supported through credible federal climate and energy policy.

“Australia has a bright renewable-powered future ahead. But we need effective policy in place to get us there,” she said.

“Unfortunately the Federal Government is dragging its heels, with the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) unlikely to drive new investment.

A renewable energy target was first introduced 20 years ago by the Howard government, expanded by states, and then the Rudd government. The RET has been critical to driving investment and growth in renewable energy nationwide.


For more information please contact Senior Communications Advisor Alexia Boland on 0438 972 260.

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

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