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Labor Shortens odds with comprehensive energy policy ahead of Federal Election

The clean energy industry welcomed the strong leadership from the Federal Opposition today, following media reports this morning about its comprehensive energy policy which could drive investment up and power prices down.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten recommitted Labor to a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030, as part of a policy package which underlined its commitment to the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) as well as a new target of 1 million household batteries and a supportive battery storage program.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said Labor’s suite of policies would keep the wave of large-scale clean energy investment rolling and accelerate the move towards more batteries for homes with solar panels. Policy certainty remains essential if the regional boom in renewable energy and storage is to continue, he said.

“Labor’s decision to adopt the architecture of the NEG and pursue a return to bipartisan energy policy in the future is a welcome approach and clearly the preference of the business and investment community," Mr Thornton said.

"However, given political bipartisanship has been elusive for more than a decade, it is a smart and sensible move for the ALP to leave the door ajar to pursue direct investment models that would deliver more clean energy investment in the absence of bipartisan support should it win government.

“The ALP commitment to a $200 million home battery program will be a major boost for up to 100,000 households to install batteries. We welcome the focus on safety and quality alongside the new battery program, as well as a commitment to ensure skills and training development to support the massive economic opportunity this presents.

“It is clear Labor recognises both the challenge and remarkable opportunity of moving from fossil fuels to clean energy in the decades ahead, and has moved strongly with a range of measures to modernise Australia’s energy system,” he said.

If it wins the next election, Labor will use the policy architecture of the National Energy Guarantee, which was developed by the Energy Security Board under the Turnbull Government and secured support from business, energy and consumer groups throughout Australia.

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