The renewable energy industry’s peak body has called on the Federal Government and Opposition to accept a compromise target for large-scale renewable energy of 33,500 gigawatt-hours by 2020 to end the political deadlock over the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that while this proposed target was imperfect and much lower than the industry would prefer, after 12 months of industry uncertainty it was now critical that the issue was resolved.
“As reported today, the Clean Energy Council has written to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition with a proposal that is halfway between the positions of the Federal Government and Opposition," Mr Thornton said.
"While this compromise represents more than a 30 per cent cut to the amount of new renewable energy required, accepting this package can quickly unlock over $10 billion of new investment, protect the 21,000 jobs in the sector and create more than 6000 new jobs around the country from large-scale renewable projects.
“We are calling on both major parties to show leadership and to compromise, providing a future for the renewable energy industry in Australia and unlock the massive economic potential of the sector.
“As part of the proposal, we have also asked the government to reverse its position to close down the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which are both critical to support the next generation of renewable energy technology and local innovation," he said.
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) has been under review by the Federal Government for more than a year, with investment in large-scale renewable energy collapsing by almost 90 per cent in 2014 as a result.
Mr Thornton said there was already significant agreement between the major parties about the future of the RET, but the target for large-scale renewable energy out to 2020 remained the major sticking point.
The Clean Energy Council has also called on both parties to lock in their critical support for the following:
• Leaving the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme unchanged
• Removal of the legislated requirement for a review of the policy every two years
• Providing full exemption for Emissions-Intensive Trade Exposed (EITE) industries.
“The clean energy sector calls on both major parties to support this proposal, to end the crisis and unlock the future of renewable energy in Australia,” Mr Thornton said.
The full proposal can be found on the Clean Energy Council’s website.
Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.