The Andrews Labor Government in Victoria, Australia, has successfully passed through the State’s Legislative Council its ambitious renewable energy target of 25% renewable energy by 2020 and 40% by 2025.
The southern Australian state of Victoria announced its plans to introduce the country’s most ambitious renewable energy target back in August. Australian states have had to lead the way on renewable energy development, as the country’s Federal Government refuses to acknowledge the dire threat of climate change and remains thoroughly beholden to the country’s fossil fuel industry.
This was solidified earlier this month when the Federal Government announced that it would not implement a countrywide clean energy target in favour of its own National Energy Guarantee policy — a move out of line with all advice, support, and common sense. However, despite the near-universal condemnation of the Government’s decisions, Bloomberg New Energy Finance this week published research which suggests the National Energy Guarantee could nevertheless deliver a 42% renewable energy share by 2030 — the exact same share enshrined in the original Clean Energy Target proposal.
Regardless, State ambition has been the most important driving factor in Australia’s renewable energy industry for the past few years. While this was primarily driven by South Australia, its eastern neighbour Victoria has since stood up, and this week successfully passed the Victorian Renewable Energy Target through the State’s Legislative Council.
The Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Bill 2017 introduces a target of reaching 25% renewable energy by 2020 and 40% by 2025. The government hopes that the target will cut the average cost of power in Victoria by approximately $30 a year for households, $2,500 a year for medium businesses, and $140,000 a year for large companies.
Further, it is hoped that the target will create up to 11,000 jobs, not to mention providing much-needed electricity generation to the national market.
“This is an historic day and I’d like to thank all of the community campaigners who’ve been such passionate advocates for this important legislation,” said Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. “Renewable energy creates jobs and will help drive down power prices for Victorian households and businesses.”
“These legislated targets remain the one constant for renewable energy investor confidence in Australia and the message is clear — Victoria is open for business.”