Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) Legislation Passes

Victoria Renewable Energy Target - VRET

Image : seagul

The Victorian Labor Government’s  Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Bill 2017 passed the Legislative Council late on Friday afternoon, enshrining the VRET in law.

The VRET sets a goal of  25 per cent renewables by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. Just as a point of comparison, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) spruiked by the Turnbull Government last week is expected to result in between 28% and 36% renewables by 2030.

Renewable energy sources currently account for approximately 17 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation. The Government will announce by the end of this year how much renewables capacity will be required to meet the 25 per cent by 2020 target.

The Victorian Government noted the VRET legislation, which was introduced into State Parliament in August, passed the Legislative Council by 20-18 votes – and all Liberal and National members voted against the bill.

“This is a historic day and I’d like to thank all of the community campaigners who’ve been such passionate advocates for this important legislation,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio. “Renewable energy creates jobs and will help drive down power prices for Victorian households and businesses.”

The news was welcomed by the Clean Energy Council.

“The Victorian Government has clearly demonstrated its commitment to unlocking the jobs of the future for residents of the state,” said CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton. “The VRET provides a green light for our industry to deliver cheap, clean and reliable energy for all Victorians.”

The VRET is expected to create up to 11,000 jobs and reduce the average cost of electricity for Victorians from approximately $30 a year for households to $140,000 a year for large companies. It will also result in a 16 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with Victoria’s electricity sector by 2034-35.

Last week, both Minister D’Ambrosio and State Premier Daniel Andrews didn’t mince words in relation to the Turnbull Government’s NEG; the details of which – including any potential impact on Australia’s “solar rebate” – were and continue to be rather murky.

According to report on The Age, Premier Andrews said Prime Minister Turnbull had allowed Tony Abbott to “junk” the work of Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel in relation to a Clean Energy Target. Minister D’Ambrosio stated the modelling was “dodgy” and it was a “backward plan”.

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.

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