Smart Energy Council wants government support

The Smart Energy Council is today calling on the Victorian Government to only maintain its support of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) if the Federal Government commits to a stronger national emissions target.

The renewables sector is booming in Victoria, with a recent large-scale renewable  energy auction attracting 3,500 MW of new wind and solar capacity in bids, roughly six times the capacity put to tender in the 650 MW.

Current wind and solar projects in the pipeline in Victoria will attract up to $1.3 billion of investment, create 1,250 construction jobs over two years and 90 ongoing jobs.

Smart Energy Council Chief Executive John Grimes said while “ the future of renewables looks bright in Victoria, this could all come quickly crashing down if the NEG is approved in its current form.”

Thought leaders, developers, investors and smart energy experts are congregating in Melbourne today to discuss the future of the renewables sector at the 2018 Victorian Smart Energy Summit.

The summit will hear from Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Victoria’s Renewable Energy Boom and renewable energy projects currently in the pipeline.

“Without a stronger target to reduce emissions, the NEG will cheat Victoria and the whole of Australia out of more investment, jobs and cheap clean energy,” said Mr Grimes.

“This junk policy is actually worse than not having a new national policy because its emissions reduction target of 26% is lower than what will be achieved with the current build and investment in renewable energy.

“The NEG is not in the Victorian Government’s interest or the public interest.

“The overwhelming response to the recent auction is telling – Victorians want a transition to renewables for clean, cheaper and reliable energy,” said Mr Grimes.

The Smart Energy Council is calling on the Victorian Government to only continue negotiations around the NEG if the following conditions are met:

NEG must incorporate a legislated minimum 2% annual emission reduction set as the Emission Reduction Safeguard
Federal Government legislates to reduce NEM emissions by at least 45% by 2030
Existing state renewable energy targets are maintained