The review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) was not resolved last year, with negotiations between the two major parties breaking down before the holiday period.
The Clean Energy Council sent out a media release following the breakdown in negotiations that said the industry was extremely disappointed the Federal Government was refusing to drop its plan to slash the RET, and that 21,000 jobs were at risk.
New wind power inquiry for 2015
An Australian Government Senate Select Committee has been established to investigate wind turbines. This committee's terms of reference is likely to include the effect of wind farms on household power prices, health, fauna, fire fighting, crop management, emissions reduction, as well as planning processes and compliance.
The Clean Energy Council sent out a media release to say this new inquiry was like groundhog day for the wind industry, which has been through eight other reviews in the last three years.
Wind Industry Forum
The Clean Energy Council has announced the date for the second Wind Industry Forum in Melbourne, Australia - Thursday 26 March.
The inaugural Wind Industry Forum was a huge success in 2014, with a sold-out crowd of technical specialists gathering together for an event unlike anything we've seen in Australia in recent years.
The call for papers is now open. If you would like to submit a paper, check out a list of potential topics on the Clean Energy Council website.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available to Clean Energy Council member companies. If you'd like to inquire about sponsorship or membership, get in touch with Sasha Pell - but be quick as opportunities are limited.
Energy Green Paper
The Australian Government released an Energy Green Paper last year to inform the upcoming Energy White Paper. The Green Paper covered four major themes: attracting investment, keeping electricity prices down, developing Australia's gas market, and securing a reliable and affordable future energy supply.
The Clean Energy Council’s submission on behalf of the industry argued that renewable energy is the answer to these issues as it is a major industry attracting billions in investment. The industry also keeps power prices down and can continue to do so by protecting Australia against rising gas prices, and is inherently secure and reliable.
The submission also highlighted the many other benefits of renewable energy, and argued that the RET should be retained with no more reviews until 2020. The submission also provided some ideas on retiring old generation and other market reforms including tariff structure.
All submissions to the Green Paper are available on the Energy White Paper website.
Victorian election result a win for wind farms
A state election was held in November in Victoria, which is home to many Australian wind farms, and there was a change in government with the Australian Labor Party claiming victory. New Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made a major wind farm planning policy announcement prior to the election, that his party will reduce the buffer zone for wind farms from two kilometres to one, and will scrap some of the no-go zones.
The Clean Energy Council is looking forward to working with the new Premier and his team as they develop this and other policies to support clean energy in the coming weeks and months.
South Australia's new renewable energy target
The South Australian State Government recently announced a new target to source 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources. The Clean Energy Council said in a media release that South Australia is poised to reap huge benefits in investment and jobs by increasing its renewable energy target.
By boosting the target, South Australia is demonstrating commitment to attracting investment and jobs to its rural and regional communities.