South Australia to Aim for 50% Renewables

South Australia will aim to move to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2025.

But it will only be achieved if the federal government resists a recommendation to scrap or scale back the national renewable energy target (RET), Premier Jay Weatherill says.

New figures to be released later this month are likely to show SA has exceeded its existing 33 per cent renewable target.

The premier says the state’s new target will drive investment and create jobs but can only succeed if the federal government maintains its current RET arrangements.

“The sovereign risk created by the federal government’s unnecessary and unexplained review into the national RET has caused a number of projects to be placed on hold, putting many construction projects and ongoing jobs at risk,” Mr Weatherill said on Tuesday.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of SA jobs in the renewable energy sector – these are the growth areas we should be supporting, not undermining.”

The federal government is considering a report by businessman Dick Warburton, which questions the target of 20 per cent of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020.

The Warburton review called for the small-scale solar rooftop scheme scheme to be abolished or phased out and for the larger-scale renewable energy production target be closed to new entrants.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane last week wrote to Labor’s climate spokesman Mark Butler to open talks on the RET’s future.

The government will release a formal response in coming weeks.

Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said SA was leading the nation in renewable energy and other states should follow its example.

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