Prime Minister Tony Abbott's welcome commitment to Australia being 'open for business' has been clearly demonstrated on the world stage, through Australia's leadership in a new international agreement to bring down the costs of a range of clean energy technologies, the Clean Energy Council said today.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has committed to work towards eliminating all tariffs on more than 50 'environmental goods', including wind turbines, solar panels, solar water heaters, high efficiency cogeneration systems and so on. The new negotiations will build on an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agreement reached in 2011 to cap tariffs on these goods.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green said the costs of building new clean energy projects in Australia are coming down, and this announcement is designed to bring them down even further.
"Clean energy projects, be it a large-scale wind, a solar farm, a high efficiency cogeneration system designed to cut industrial energy costs or a solar hot water system on a household rooftop, are becoming more and more affordable for businesses developers and Australian families alike," Mr Green said.
"The announcement further demonstrates how, with leadership from the Australian Government, we can make sure clean energy can continue to be built under the Renewable Energy Target at the lowest possible cost to consumers.
"Alongside the strong local market driven by the Renewable Energy Target, this new announcement also helps provide the incentive needed for sustained global investment in the Australian economy."
News of the WTO agreement came on Friday evening from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, where Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week called on all governments to embrace free trade. CEC members, including General Electric, have played an active role in international tariff reforms.
Please contact Clean Energy Council Communications Officer Laura Szekfy on 0410 277 393 for more information or to arrange an interview.