Australia is now one step away from a return to bipartisan renewable energy policy.
After more than a year of uncertainty, the Australian government can act quickly to secure jobs and investment in rural and regional Australia by accepting the renewable energy target (RET) compromise proposed by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) to break the current political deadlock.
Investment in large-scale renewable energy in Australia fell by 88% in 2014, with companies in the sector shedding hundreds of jobs while dozens of projects remain stalled.
Vestas believes the CEC proposal of a 33,500 GWh target in 2020 represents a reasonable and necessary compromise to unlock investment and protect jobs in an industry sector that has been badly damaged by political risk.
The Australian government's own review of the RET demonstrated that cutting the existing target is counterproductive and could cause power prices to rise in the medium- to long-term, exposing Australian families and businesses to rising energy prices.
‘Political uncertainty has stopped Australia reaching that potential, and this is now threatening Australia's competitiveness as the rest of the world moves ahead with renewables,’ says Danny Nielsen, managing director of Vestas Australia. ‘Bipartisan political support must be urgently restored to create the long-term business certainty required to protect jobs and allow major renewable energy investments to proceed.’