The strong global agreement on climate change reached over night in Paris, combined with the report today that the Federal Government will restore a common sense approach to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), sends a strong signal that renewable energy will play a big role in Australia's economic future.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the final deal was a clear demonstration of global momentum and a recognition that the ongoing transformation of the energy sector was inevitable.
“We have already seen huge changes recently in the way we produce and use energy, and this is just the beginning. New technologies such as battery storage will completely revolutionise the way we think about energy within a decade,” Mr Thornton said.
“The deal announced in Paris will accelerate a change that is already happening – a shift towards a zero-carbon energy sector in the decades ahead. It is no longer a question of whether or not this will happen. The question is now about what we need to do to prepare for the changes that have already begun.
“Renewable energy is an undeniable part of the international action to address climate change. Global economic giants like China, the United States and Germany are already at the forefront of a move to maximise the domestic benefits of clean energy such as solar, wind and wave power, in combination with battery storage.
“Australia is blessed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the jobs of the 21st Century.
“Almost three quarters of Australia’s coal-fired power stations are either at or beyond their expected retirement date. Coal is an important part of Australia’s history, but it’s time we retired some of these old clunkers and get serious about modernising our energy system,” he said.
Mr Thornton said the Federal Government’s move to include wind power in the new investment mandate of the CEFC sent a strong signal to international investors that Australia wants more renewable energy.
“It is great to see that common sense has prevailed. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is clearly committed to restoring confidence to renewable energy after several tough years.
“The CEFC will play an important role in unlocking innovative finance solutions for the renewable energy industry and delivering on the pledges made at the UN climate negotiations in Paris. In the short term it will help to return stability to a sector which has endured a tough couple of years.
“The renewable energy industry is an agile and innovative one, and we look forward to working with the Australian Government to maximise the opportunities available from renewable energy,” he said.
Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.