Vic Eyes 40pc Renewable Energy Target

Thursday, June 16th, 2016
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Victoria will more than double its renewable energy use in just nine years in a plan it hopes will create $2.5 billion worth of investment.

Right now 14 per cent of Victoria’s energy is renewable – and Labor wants to lift that to 25 per cent by 2020.

Just five years later the target will jump to 40 per cent.

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio says Victoria is saving the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target.

“Investors have lost faith in the national target but we are restoring the confidence needed to invest,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

The government expects up to 5400 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy capacity will be built by 2025, representing $2.5 billion worth of investment.

Up to 4000 jobs could be created during the peak construction year of 2024 with a 12 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

“The model that we are looking at will deliver no additional costs for households and businesses before 2020,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“There will be very, very marginal cost impacts (after that) – we are talking about additional cents per week.”

Premier Daniel Andrews also announced a reverse auctions scheme that will see project developers compete to be the lowest-cost provider.

“Successful bids will be given long-term contracts to support their projects, providing certainty for investors,” Mr Andrews said.

The auctions will include solar auctions, in a bid to bring large-scale solar power to Victoria.

The details of the scheme are being refined, with the first auction contracts to begin after new legislation is passed next year.

Opposition energy spokesman David Southwick said the target would jack up power bills more than $65 million a year.

Greens energy spokeswoman Ellen Sandell said Latrobe Valley coal power stations must close as well.

“This new target is great, but coal power stations are still locking renewables out of the market,” Ms Sandell said.

Australian Energy Councils chief executive Matthew Warren said there would be significant impacts on the industry.

“You cannot expect to build the equivalent of more than 50 new wind farms (1400 turbines) in Victoria in eight years without significant impacts on energy costs and reliability to consumers,” Mr Warren said.

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