The support shown by the New South Wales Government for the Renewable Energy Target in a submission to the review of the policy shows that it understands the benefits it can deliver to both consumers and the local economy, the peak body for the clean energy industry said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green said it was excellent to see Premier Mike Baird join with the state’s Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts and Environment Minister Rob Stokes in support of the Renewable Energy Target.

“Premier Mike Baird joins Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill in voicing public support for the Renewable Energy Target in his state. Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has also made positive comments about clean energy, including wind power,” Mr Green said.

“Four studies released by leading energy market analysts this year have all shown the same thing – cutting the Renewable Energy Target will actually cost consumers more in the long run. Some analysts are predicting that gas may triple in price this decade, and less renewable energy would mean households and businesses will need to get more of their power from increasingly expensive gas. And this means higher costs.

“The Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis this week said that renewable energy jobs and investment would go begging, consumers would pay more, and the only winners would be coal and gas generators if the Renewable Energy Target was cut.

“The states that chase the investment available under the national Renewable Energy Target will reap the benefits of those infrastructure projects for their economies, particularly in regional areas that really need it.

“Some detailed aspects of the submission clearly require further exploration. But while we do not agree with everything, it is very positive to see the government recognise the benefits of the policy to consumers and the economy.”

Mr Green said renewable energy continued to be the most popular of any energy source among voters, as it just makes sense to people.
“We can make so much more of our world-leading sun, wind, waves, hot rocks and bioenergy resources. Polling on renewable energy regularly shows upwards of 70 per cent support among the population,” he said.

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target is currently being reviewed by an independent panel appointed by the Federal Government, creating uncertainty among investors and the industry.

“The Australian Industry Group, which represents around 60,000 businesses including many manufacturers, said in its submission that energy users would not benefit from either deep cuts to the policy or its removal,” Mr Green said.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.