Time for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target?
Candidates at the Brunswick candidates forum were asked a number of questions including whether Victoria should implement our own state-wide Renewable Energy Target (VRET) following the example of South Australia and the ACT.
Here is what I wrote in my report of the forum at Nofibs
Garrett, while supportive of renewables and action on climate change waffled on in her response including having a dig at the Greens in not supporting the CPRS scheme in 2009. However, she was accused of not answer the specific question regardomg setting a target.
Peter Allan again highlighted the lack of a direct answer from Garrett, “We don’t get an answer to a very specific question, which is what target should we be aiming for? There is no technical barrier for us to be moving very rapidly to renewable energy. There is no cost barrier. What there is is a political barrier. It is to do with vested interests that hold us back; the protection of the coal industry, the protection of large energy companies. That’s why we need a strong target.”
His statement brought strong applause from the audience.
Tim Read outlined very briefly the Greens policy of a Renewable Energy target for Victoria of a 40 pc reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, and close to 90 pc by 2030. Dean O’Callaghan advocated rapid reduction in emissions aiming for 100 pc reduction by 2020.
The Liberal Candidate Giuseppe Vellotti said “I fully support renewable energy targets” without explaining what those targets might be.
There were also relevant questions raised on East West Link, Recycling, and urban planning and development in Moreland.
The Napthine Government has been widely reported as one of the worst Government’s on its environment record for the last half century. See Gay Alcorn’s Guardian article : Victoria’s environmental record under scrutiny: how green is Denis Napthine?.
Even the Age has sought to editorially comment on The shameful absence of environmental policies.
The latest Climate Council report – The Australian Renewable Energy Race: Which States are Winning or Losing? – outlines that Victoria and NSW have moved from leaders to laggards in Australia’s renewable energy race.
It notes that:
- Victoria has excellent wind and solar resources, however, the restrictive policy environment makes it the least favourable investment environment of any Australian state for renewable energy. Victoria has moved to actively discourage renewable energy, so, in contrast to South
Australia, investment in renewable energy has dried up. Victoria’s
restrictive policy environment has cost the state an estimated $4 billion in lost investment and 3,000 jobs.
- Despite having 57% of the population Victoria and NSW only have 40% of renewable energy jobs.
- Victoria’s electricity comprises only 12% of Australia’s new renewable energy capacity and NSW 7%.
- Victoria currently has no emissions reduction targets or policies in place.
Friends of the Earth Yes to Renewables campaign has been very effective in highlighting the importance of developing Renewables in Victoria: