Western Australia’s peak environment and sustainability group today welcomed recommendations from Australia’s Climate Change Authority that the current Renewable Energy Target should remain in place, calling for the WA Government to ensure that Western Australia meets or exceeds the national target of 20% renewable energy by 2020.
The Authority today released the Renewable Energy Target Review Discussion Paper, which recommended that the existing target of 41,000 GWh should not be reduced, as proposed by a number of energy generators.
Conservation Council of WA Climate and Energy spokesperson Jamie Hanson said, “A renewable energy target is a good thing - it creates investment certainty. It cuts costs. In fact, everyone agrees that the Renewable Energy Target is a good idea, except for a few big companies with investments in gas fracking and coal burning.
“The South Australian example shows that energy prices can actually fall with rollout of renewables. In South Australia, which has the highest proportion of renewable energy in Australia, wholesale electricity prices have gone from the highest in the country to the lowest.
“The Climate Change Authority report also highlights the significant opportunities for renewable energy development in WA, and the lack of forward-looking policies to drive this investment at a state level.
“Rather than developing these resources, the Government continues to put roadblocks in the way of renewable energy by subsidising dirty competitors such as gas fracking in the Perth Basin.
“Energy policies that promote fossil fuels are ‘brown-tape’ for renewable energy and prevent our state from being a leader in the renewable energy revolution occurring now.
“Western Australia should be a leader, but instead we are trailing the pack in renewable energy.
“We are calling on the Barnett Government to put policies in place to ensure that Western Australia meets or exceeds the national renewable energy target.
“The alternative is that Western Australian energy consumers will be paying the price for renewable energy being installed in the Eastern States, while getting none of the benefits.”
For further comment:
Jamie Hanson, 0449 971 229
John McCarten (CCWA Media), 0403 900 193