2016 Turnbull/Morrison budget yet another failure on coherent renewable energy policy
May, 2016: Last night’s Federal Budget was yet another example of how out of touch the Turnbull Government is with the dramatic transformation of our nation’s power generation that is underway, with renewable energy policy almost entirely absent from the Treasurer’s speech and the Budget papers, according to Solar Citizens.
“The Government has made it crystal clear that they intend to lock in at least $1bn in savage cuts to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) – a reckless, foolish and short sighted move,” said Claire O’Rourke, National Director of Solar Citizens.
“What we heard last night was Treasurer Morrison talking about jobs and growth - if jobs were really the target, they need look no further than the renewable energy sector.
“And yet on renewable energy policy they are silent, except to cut funding for ARENA, it is shameful.
“The global investment boom in renewable energy is gaining momentum - now is the time we should be heavily investing in renewable energy research, not cutting ARENA to the bone,” she said.
“We call on the government to reinstate ARENA’s funding and grants program,” Ms O’Rourke said. “Funding renewable energy research is a vital part of Australia becoming the innovative and transformative economy Mr Turnbull promotes,” she said.
According to Indeed solar jobs are once again rising, up 34 per cent in the last quarter. That, Indeed said, “reflects Australia’s labour market response to climate change investment across the globe”. At present Indeed data shows that solar positions make up 66 per cent of open energy job postings in Australia against oil, with a 21 per cent share, and coal, with just 10 per cent of jobs on offer.
“Clean energy investment in Australia climbed by 16% to USD 2.9 billion (EUR 2.56bn) in 2015, according to figures by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
“It’s hard to find another sector that displays real job prospects and real innovation and a practical response to the challenge of diversifying and strengthening our economy – and our Executive Government has largely ignored it,” said O’Rourke.
“It is hard to reconcile the budgetary decisions being made by the Federal Government and what we are seeing in the real world, here in Australia and right across the globe.
“This smacks of wilful neglect and an absolute failure to recognise the real economic transition that is well advanced in Australia, despite all that has been done by the Abbott/Turnbull administrations to deliberately inject uncertainty into the sector,” she said.
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