It is Groundhog Day for the renewable energy industry following Senate approval for the ninth review into renewable energy in just three years, with another inquiry set to waste taxpayers’ money on a political witch hunt into issues that have been explored time and again, the Clean Energy Council said today.
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the initiative, floated by independent senators David Leyonhjelm, John Madigan, Bob Day, Nick Xenophon and Liberal Senator Chris Back, was an attempt to settle old scores after a series of recent reviews which gave the industry a clean bill of health.
“Each of the previous reviews conducted into renewable energy and wind power over the past few years has concluded that the key policies are working very effectively, the sector is well regulated and delivers significant benefits at very low cost to consumers,” Mr Marsh said.
“This is a farcical situation, given the industry is still awaiting the outcome of the government’s recent Warburton Review as well as another legislated review of the Renewable Energy Target by the Climate Change Authority.
“Yet another review simply adds to the massive uncertainty facing the sector and increases Australia’s reputation as a country that is not committed to developing renewable energy.”
The Australian renewable energy industry is at a standstill due to the constant reviews of the sector, and investment in 2014 has been approximately 70 per cent lower than the year before.
Mr Marsh invited the senators to examine the findings of previous inquiries which have explored many of the same issues this new inquiry is supposed to examine.
“While we are always open to scrutiny into the economic impacts, health impacts, compliance, aerial operations, firefighting, and lifecycle emissions of wind power, these issues have already been extensively reviewed and considered in the past – and each time the evidence has been stronger that wind energy can easily answer all the accusations of its most devoted critics.
"Many of these issues have already been tested in court cases across the country and have concluded in support of wind energy.
“It is unclear how yet another review could draw any different conclusions given the many inquiries and reviews already undertaken in Australia. It is pretty obvious this inquiry is about politics rather than science, and it’s basically just Groundhog Day for this industry yet again,” Mr Marsh said.
Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.