Aerial view of Parliament house, Canberra

As a response to the rising energy prices across Australia, climate and clean energy organisations are calling for the introduction of a Renewable Energy Storage Target (REST) in the Federal Government.

The organisations, which are lobbying in Canberra on 21 November, are pushing for energy ministers to adopt a REST at the next Energy Ministers’ Meeting, due to take place in early December, as a matter of urgency.

The group includes the Climate Council, Smart Energy Council, Clean Energy Investment Group, Advanced Materials Battery Council, and Solar Citizens. Together, they released a joint statement describing the introduction of a REST as “the fastest way out of Australia’s current energy price crisis”.

A Renewable Energy Storage Target – which Australia does not currently have – would stabilise prices, lower emissions, and increase the amount of electricity available in the electricity market from renewable sources. It achieves this through a combined regulatory and market based model.

New data from the Climate Council has found a REST could unlock $42 billion dollars of private investment and create around 100,000 jobs in renewable energy. 

The groups say new wind and solar projects coming online at pace should be combined with a national REST to deliver reliable, secure energy for Australian homes and businesses. 

Smart Energy Council Chief Executive, John Grimes, said “We can’t get to 82 per cent renewables by 2030 unless we unleash renewable energy storage, and that means we need a Renewable Energy Storage Target.

“We need everything from electric vehicles plugging into the grid, household battery systems to unlocking massive investment through the Renewable Energy Storage Acceleration Scheme.”

Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, said moving to cheap, clean renewable energy will free Australians from huge energy bill shocks already experienced in 2022.

“At the same time, it will put us on track to make the deep cuts to emissions we need this decade to avoid more harmful climate change,” Ms McKenzie said. 

“Wind and solar power backed by batteries and pumped hydro is the recipe we need for cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy, so let’s get on with delivering it.”

Simon Corbell, CEO of the Clean Energy Investor Group, said it is well known there are billions of dollars waiting to be unlocked that will deliver the clean Energy future. 

“A Renewable Energy Storage Target provides exactly the right signals to investors while also reducing costs to consumers,” Mr Corbell said. 

Solar Citizens National Director, Heidi Lee Douglas said: ”During this energy crisis, more than three million Australian households with solar panels on their roofs have been buffered from volatile gas and coal prices. 

“Now, our state and federal governments must further harness our sun power and enable more people to take up solar with a Renewable Energy Storage Target that incentivises home or community batteries, including vehicle to grid technology. 

“We can save everyday Australians hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year, stabilise our electricity grid, and save on transmission network upgrades by rolling out small scale battery storage.”

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