Professional installing solar and wind energy

The Victorian Government is legislating its emissions reductions and renewable energy targets, making official the new Victorian renewable energy target of 95 per cent renewable energy generation by 2035.

The new legislation is designed to drive down power bills, encourage investment into Victoria’s renewable energy industry and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Victorian Minister for Climate Action, Lily D’Ambrosio, introduced the Climate Change and Energy Legislation Amendment (Renewable Energy and Storage Targets) Bill 2023 which legislated the new target of 95 per cent.

The bill will also legislate Victoria’s world-leading emissions reduction targets, to cut emissions by 45 to 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and 75 to 80 per cent by 2035. The bill also brings forward the date to achieve net-zero emissions from 2050 to 2045, cementing Victoria’s place at the forefront of global climate action.

The government said these targets build on success to date, having slashed Victoria’s emissions by almost a third since 2005  and having cut emissions by more than any other state since 2014.

The bill also proposes to legislate Victorian energy storage targets for at least 2.6GW of energy storage capacity by 2030 and at least 6.3GW by 2035. It also proposes to legislate offshore wind targets of at least 2GW of offshore generation capacity by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040.

Achieving the 95 per cent renewable energy target and storage target is estimated to drive around $9.5 billion in economic development and around 59,000 jobs over the period to 2035.

Victoria’s renewable energy generation reached 37.8 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation in 2022/23 – around double that of 2018. The government said this increase puts Victoria well on track to achieve its next renewable energy target of 40 per cent renewable generation by 2025 and 95 per cent by 2035.

The bill will also amend the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to embed climate change considerations at the top of the Victorian planning hierarchy, with a new, explicit climate change objective in the planning framework requiring authorities to consider climate change when preparing or amending planning schemes.

The purpose of the reform is to ensure that climate change is considered at the earliest point in the planning process and is targeted appropriately at strategic planning decisions, which guide the location and form new land use and development.

Victorian Minister for Climate Action, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “These targets encourage investment in Victoria’s renewable energy transition and show our commitment to bold climate action as we work towards net-zero emissions by 2045.”

Victorian Minister for Planning, Sonya Kilkenny, said, “We’re ensuring that climate change is considered at the earliest point in the planning process, making Victorian homes, buildings and businesses more resilient.”

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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