Australia’s renewable energy industry has called for an end to the partisan politics and constant policy change impacting the sector in order to unlock its massive economic potential, as hundreds of executives gather for the two-day Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that policy stability and strong commitment to the sector was now critical to unlock the $40 billion worth of investment and 15,200 jobs that can be created by the recent resolution of the Renewable Energy Target review.

“Australia’s investment in large-scale renewable energy last year was less than 0.1 per cent of the US$310 billion in global clean energy investment, despite having some of the best sunshine, wind and waves in the world,” Mr Thornton said.  

“While we have a lot of ground to make up on our competitors, the good news is that renewable energy is a golden opportunity for Australia.

“The recent return of bipartisanship to the Renewable Energy Target can put us back in the game, doubling the amount of renewable energy we currently have over the next five years, and creating jobs and investment in many of the regional areas that need it most.

“Unexpected policy changes like this week’s revision to the mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to exclude wind and rooftop solar rattle confidence in the sector. We need to take the politics out of this industry, return some stability to the current policy settings and let the jobs and investment flow from there.”

The Australian Clean Energy Summit 2015 brings together renewable energy executives, along with politicians, government decision-makers, business leaders, analysts and financiers over two days at the Sydney Hilton. Presented by the Clean Energy Council, the event will explore the major opportunities and challenges involved with transforming the country’s energy sector to one that is cleaner and smarter.  

“Achieving this transition requires a clear and long term vision for the Australian energy sector – one that recognizes the importance of modernizing Australia’s energy generation fleet and the contribution and importance of long-term carbon emissions targets,” Mr Thornton said.

“We also need to reform the energy market to facilitate greater competition, consumer empowerment and support for the transition toward clean energy sources of generation.”

Mr Thornton said every opinion poll over the last five years on the issue found Australians wanted a greater role for renewable energy, and politicians therefore ignored the potential of clean energy at their peril.

“Never before have consumers had so much power, and they are choosing renewable energy. More than 2.3 million Australian households have chosen to install a solar power or solar hot water system.

“Millions more have chosen to embrace energy efficient appliances and, sometime soon, they will choose battery technology to store electricity produced by the sun, and use it when they want it.

The Australian Clean Energy Summit 2015 runs from Wednesday 15 – Thursday 16 July.

The full program and speaker list are availabe at cleanenergysummit.com.au.

Contact Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.