According to the Clean Energy Council’s policy directives for the upcoming Federal Election, over half of the country’s power should come from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro, by 2030.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said investment in the renewable energy and storage industries was at record levels, but national energy and climate policy is the missing link to allow a smooth transition from fossil fuels to clean energy – and to drive down power prices.

“The plunging cost of wind and solar has contributed to a record $20 billion worth of projects now under construction. This extraordinary momentum will only continue with strong and enduring federal policy leadership,” Mr Thornton said.

“Federal politics has failed energy consumers. Leadership from the next Federal Government is essential to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy.

“The Clean Energy Council has developed a package of policy directives which will help keep the extraordinary momentum going in the sector and continue generating jobs and investment for Australians in regional communities.”

Mr Thornton said we need to put away our big sticks and get serious about real reform of the energy market, with policies to bring on more pumped hydro and battery storage, as well as strengthening our network of poles and wires.

“We should also begin planning the infrastructure to export renewable energy to the rest of the world through clean hydrogen and high-voltage DC cables. We are also calling on the next Federal Government to build on the incredible success of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and extend the life of these critical organisations,” Mr Thornton said.

“Australian households have taken up rooftop solar in record numbers. There is now a clear role for the next Federal Government to ensure all new homes install solar power as well as supporting households to install battery systems.

“A clean energy future is within reach, but we need effective planning and policy at the federal level to get there. We look forward to working with both the Federal Government and the Labor Party on developing policy, as well as providing advice to whoever wins the next election.”  

The ten recommendations from the Clean Energy Council’s policy directives are grouped into the following categories:

  • Commit to a target of at least 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, as well as a zero-emissions electricity sector well before 2050
  • Accelerate reforms and finance support to develop Australia’s electricity transmission network for a clean energy future
  • Encourage the uptake of energy storage such as batteries and pumped hydro
  • Maintain the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)
  • Mandate solar power in all new homes
  • Support innovation in finance, technology and integration. Extend the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
  • Commit to the development of a clean energy export strategy
  • Support skills development to meet the needs of a growing industry
  • Support the establishment of a battery manufacturing and recycling industry
  • Develop a single national electrical safety body

The full package of recommendations is available from the Clean Energy Council website.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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