Victoria and the ACT were aiming both higher and cleaner last week, with both setting new state-based targets for renewable energy on Friday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio travelled to Keppel Prince Engineering at Portland in the state’s west to announce the government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap, and in the process set a minimum target of 20 per cent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2020. The Premier also left open the possibility of raising this further when Victoria releases its final renewable energy plan later in the year.
While a large part of the electricity supply in states such as South Australia and Tasmania already comes from renewable energy, the Victorian move is significant because the state hosts the lion’s share of the country’s brown coal power plants. The government is showing national leadership in championing the move to a cleaner and more modern energy system.
Clean Energy Council Policy Manager Alicia Webb said that when Australia’s brown coal capital recognised the potential of clean energy jobs and investment for the state’s future, it was a sign that change to a more modern energy system is inevitable.
“The main questions remaining are how fast the transition will happen and how that process can best be managed,” Ms Webb said.
Not to be outdone, the ACT Government announced that it intends to get 100 per cent of its power from renewable energy by 2025. The government had already set a highly ambitious target of getting 90 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, but said the 100 per cent goal would drive further jobs growth in the region's research and corporate sectors.