Australia's renewable energy industry on track to meet Renewable Energy Target
New figures from Clean Energy Council (CEC) confirm that Australia’s renewable energy industry is on track to meet the Renewable Energy Target (RET), showing the effectiveness of long-term and stable policy to attract major investors for the benefit of the national economy.
"Large-scale renewable energy projects adding up to more than AU$10 billion in private investment were either under construction or committed during 2017" said Kane Thornton, Chief Executive for Clean Energy Council.
According to Clean Energy Council (CEC) Chief Executive, Kane Thornton the analysis for the Federal Government in 2017 showed the average household power bill would be cut by “hundreds of dollars” a year by the end of the decade as a result of the new projects built under the Renewable Energy Target (RET)..
The industry is on a high after a record year for both large-scale renewable energy and rooftop solar power. Large-scale renewable energy projects adding up to more than AU$10 billion in private investment were either under construction or committed during 2017. And another AU$2 billion was invested in rooftop solar, Thornton said.
The Federal Government has also announced that enough projects were either under construction or sufficiently advanced in the development process that the RET would be met by 2020. CEC analysis shows that approximately 5 500 jobs are set to be created from more than 50 wind and solar projects, adding up to 5 200 MW of new generating capacity and over AU$10 billion of investment.
We are now looking forward to several really big years of job creation and economic activity as the industry builds out the rest of the RET. The good news is that these wind, solar and bioenergy projects entering the system will help to reduce the power bills of mums and dads, big power users and everyone in between. Renewable energy is now the lowest cost type of new power generation it’s possible to build today, but it is competing against old and increasingly unreliable coal-fired power stations that were built by taxpayers many decades ago. This is why the RET has been so important, Thornton said.
Thornton highlighted that it was important to recognise the contribution of a variety of state and territory governments, which helped to provide additional incentives for new renewable energy when the industry was experiencing significant uncertainty after an extended review of the RET.
This achievement reminds us of the importance of long-term policy with bipartisan political support. While the RET has delivered on its promise, there remains significant policy uncertainty beyond 2020. We urge the Federal Government and all political stakeholders to work quickly and constructively to establish policy and regulatory settings that will provide continued investment confidence for the coming decades, Thornton cautioned.