ALP renewable energy plan for orderly transition welcome
Claire O’Rourke, National Director, Solar Citizens has welcomed today’s policy platform on renewables and power generation released by the Federal Opposition.
“The announcement shows the ALP has a plan for an orderly, managed transition of our energy sector which will ensure Australia grabs a $800bn slice of the global renewable energy boom that is on our doorstep – it’s a positive step towards the clean energy future Australians want to see,” said Ms O’Rourke.
“We welcome the ALP’s renewable power commitments but note that, as the Homegrown Power Plan we jointly released last week clearly demonstrates, an Australia powered by 100% renewables by 2030 is both absolutely necessary and absolutely possible.
“There is real depth in today’s policy announcement which sits in stark contrast to the Abbott Government’s record and the lack of any concrete plan for transition from the Turnbull administration.
“Solar Citizens welcomes the clear policy detail outlined in today’s announcement, including an appropriate solar thermal funding round that could support a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta, the concept of Community Powerhouses, the doubling of energy productivity by 2030, and an expansion of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) mandate.
“We are relieved that at last we have some comprehensive focus at the national level on the many issues facing the Australian public in respect to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and the National Electricity Objective (NEO) with the announcement by the ALP of a long overdue review into both.
“We know from our first hand experience with many thousands of solar citizens that voters will pay attention to parties that can articulate clear ideas and policies on how we will manage the inevitable transition of the way we produce and consume electricity.
“In stark contrast, the Federal Government to date has a dubious record on renewable energy policy, with the Abbott era driving swathing cuts to the Renewable Energy Target and making multiple attempts to destroy Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
“What we have seen so far from the Turnbull administration is policy to remove $1.3 billion in grants funding allocated to ARENA and a new Clean Energy Innovation Fund that reallocates $1 billion of existing CEFC funds.
“After almost nine months in office, Prime Minister Turnbull has not articulated a clear plan for our nation to use the vast natural solar and wind resources we have right here at home, frankly that’s simply not good enough,” she said.
“The Turnbull Government has an opportunity to turn this around and take the lead on solar and renewable energy policy - it’s time to step up.
“Globally, over the last few years, more money has been invested in renewable energy capacity than fossil fuel capacity. In fact, nearly three times as much money was invested in renewables in 2015 than a decade earlier.
“Australia is the sunniest continent on the planet and failure to rapidly embrace a transition to clean, renewable power in this country is not only poor policy, it is a threat to the future sustainability of our national economy,” Ms O’Rourke said.
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