There are some positive signals from the McGowan Labor Government, which on Wednesday unveiled a nation-leading approach to standalone power systems in the release of its energy policy ahead of next month's state election.
"Labor's $218 million investment in the manufacture and installation of more than 1000 standalone power systems in regional WA over the next five years really should be applauded," said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
"It will reduce electricity prices for all customers, improve reliability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be far safer, especially in bushfire-prone areas.
"Assisting remote Indigenous communities to move away from expensive and polluting diesel for electricity generation will improve equity and autonomy."
A $10 million investment has also been announced to support the development of a WA wind turbine manufacturing industry.
"It's great to see the state actively working to attract local participation in the renewable energy supply chain," said Thornton. "However, to effectively attract local manufacturing, ambitious, long-term energy policies will also be needed to provide confidence to wind farm equipment suppliers that there will be a stable investment environment.
"To support this initiative, it will be important to develop consideration for a skilled workforce that can support the full lifecycle of the supply chain, from manufacturing to recycling. A continued pipeline of wind projects will be critical to the local industry's success."
While the announcement sends some encouraging signals for the next stage in WA's clean energy journey, a higher level of investment is needed to kick start the state's renewable hydrogen sector.
"The state government has made good early progress, but it's time to up the ante for renewable hydrogen. We need investment in the order of hundreds of millions, not tens of millions, over the next decade if the state is to become a global leader in producing renewable hydrogen and its derivatives. The state should signal its investment intent as early as possible to attract the private sector to invest in WA."
"There is an enormous opportunity for the evolution of WA industry from one that has prospered from fossil fuel extraction to a state that leads the way in the development and export of the clean fuel of the future," said Thornton.
The full WA election recommendations document can be viewed on the Clean Energy Council's website.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Clean Energy Council Media Manager
+61 409 470 683