The Victorian Government’s renewable energy auction announcement today is a major step forward for communities, businesses and the state’s renewable energy industry, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said more power generation is required following the retirement of the Hazelwood coal-fired power plant, and today’s announcement will turbo charge significant private investment in low cost renewable energy to fill the gap and bring power prices down.

“The state government is showing strong leadership through its Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) scheme, which will boost investment and jobs,” Mr Thornton said.

“Victoria is realising an immense opportunity to grow its economy and preserve its future energy security through the establishment of a strong and long-term VRET scheme, which will ensure the roll-out of renewable energy projects well beyond 2020.

“The renewable energy projects committed in Victoria this year add up to 685 MW of capacity, more than 530 jobs and $1.2 billion worth of investment. Today’s announcement means these figures will grow exponentially and put Victoria in a leading position to accelerate investment and job creation, at a time when interstate competition for projects is steadily increasing,” he said.

The VRET scheme has set targets to source 25 per cent of Victoria’s power from renewable energy by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. The government will introduce legislation committing to these future targets, providing confidence for the renewable energy industry to invest in the jobs and supply chain over the long term.

Mr Thornton said the auction round announced today is the largest renewable reverse energy auction program to date in Australia, building on the success of the ACT Government’s program.

“This is a significant addition to the Victorian Government’s clean energy commitments to date, which include solar trams, solar schools, an energy storage initiative and a renewable energy certificate purchasing initiative,” he said.

“Today’s announcement will help Australia move away from high-emissions power generation to cleaner renewable energy, which is in line with our emissions reduction commitments under the global climate agreement negotiated in Paris several years ago.”

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