CEC Calls For Clean Energy Stimulus Package

Clean energy stimulus - CEC

Image: skeeze

Australia’s Clean Energy Council is lobbying federal, state and territory governments to make renewables and energy storage a key part COVID-19 response packages.

The CEC wrote to governments across the country on Friday, urging them to implement a series of initiatives, including:

  • The direct funding of installation of solar panels on public and low-income rental housing to reduce electricity bills of those who need the most support, while providing much needed-employment.
  • The rollout of solar and storage for all critical infrastructure.
  • A new rebate for solar batteries for homes and businesses.
  • Accelerating the rollout of rooftop solar and batteries for schools, childcare facilities and government buildings.
  • Accelerating and increasing funding for microgrids, stand-alone power systems, community batteries and other bushfire recovery/resilience programs.

“Adopting these initiatives will help to save jobs in the renewable energy industry, boost the economy and reduce energy costs for consumers,” states the CEC.

Turning to large-scale renewables, the CEC says governments should accelerate programs including Queensland’s RE400 and the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan. On a related note, it wants to see prioritising of strategic interconnections and upgrades to Australia’s transmission network, which the CEC says will unlock investment and construction in new renewable energy generation in regional areas throughout Australia.

“The economic response to COVID-19 provides a golden opportunity for governments to accelerate such plans, providing much needed stimulus to the economy while simultaneously accelerating the move to a cheaper, more reliable energy system.”

Relevant Support Already Announced

In terms of what is available already for solar and storage (for business) under stimulus measures,  the Federal Government recently boosted the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020; a move that was welcomed by the CEC.

SQ’s Ronald has written about how this applies to commercial solar here, and also how a second incentive called “Boosting Business Investment” available until 30th of June 2021 can be of benefit for the installation of commercial solar power systems. He’ll also be publishing an article shortly on how financial stimulus measures already announced can help support solar businesses, so stay tuned for that one.

In other recent news from the CEC and ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting last Friday, it urged the Council to prioritise reforms removing growing risks to clean energy investors and to take further steps to accelerate investment in electricity transmission and Renewable Energy Zones.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Ronald Brakels says

    The Reserve Bank’s cash rate is now 0.25%. We should take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade distribution so everyone who wants to (or at least almost everyone who wants to) and isn’t on a rural SWER line, can export at least 5 kilowatts of of solar and/or battery power per phase. With an aim to allow single phase households and business to export a minimum of 10 kilowatts.

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