AUSTRALIA’S Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) has officially been met, delivering dozens of wind and solar projects along the way and taking the country closer to a clean energy future.
The Clean Energy Council says that enough renewable energy has now been built to guarantee that the target will be met in 2020.
Council CEO Kane Thornton said that meeting the target had transformed renewable energy from one of the most expensive to the cheapest form of energy generation in the country.
The LRET had also provided a massive boost to jobs and economies in rural and regional Australia.
“It has delivered dozens of wind and solar farms this decade, along with tens of thousands of jobs for people in regional parts of the country, and tens of billions of dollars in project investment,” Mr Thornton said.
“However, a lack of federal energy policy and a range of regulatory challenges mean that investment confidence in large-scale renewable energy generation and storage has become fragile.
“Without policy certainty to ensure investments in our energy system are made efficiently where they are most needed, we are left with using emergency measures to keep the power on over the hottest parts of summer.
“We need to replace our oldest, least reliable coal-fired plants as quickly as possible with renewable energy and storage technologies, which do exactly what our old power plants can do, but cleaner, cheaper and more reliably.
“We need policy that will encourage new clean energy projects to be built before the old coal plants close – not that leave us scrambling after they have closed down.”
At a time when people were becoming increasingly concerned about climate change, the LRET had been one of the bright spots in making our electricity system cleaner, cheaper and more reliable, Mr Thornton said.