Renewable Energy Target review finally resolved

Clean_Energy_Council_logoThe legislation for a bipartisan deal on the Renewable Energy Target (RET) passed through the Australian Parliament on the night of 23 June, opening the way for Australia to now unlock the massive potential for renewable energy investment and jobs over the next decade.

The return to bipartisanship is the critical factor allowing investment to resume and for major renewable energy projects to move forward.

While this has been a challenging process, and the industry is disappointed by the reduction of the target for large-scale renewable energy to 33,000 gigawatt-hours by 2020, the passage of this legislation provides the platform for a doubling of renewables over the next five years.

The legislation also removes the two-yearly reviews of the scheme and ensures no changes to the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is great news for thousands of people working in the rooftop solar and solar hot water sectors.

The Clean Energy Council fought hard for a resolution of this review over the last 18 months and we are confident this will see a return to work for our industry, with between 30-50 major renewable energy projects and hundreds of medium-sized projects to be built over the next five years.

This legislation will lead to more than $40 billion of investment and the creation of 15,200 jobs over the life of the RET. Importantly it will also protect the livelihoods of the 20,000 Australians directly employed by the renewable energy industry, whose jobs have been under a cloud for the last 18 months.

The renewable energy industry is now looking forward to exceeding expectations and realising the huge potential of this industry over the next five years. Australians overwhelmingly want more renewable energy, and our industry is now ready to start delivering that.


Wind farm inquiry continues

As the Australian Senate debated the RET legislation in late June, a Select Committee set up to examine wind turbines released two reports - the majority interim report and a dissenting report from one Labor Senator.

The recommendations from the interim report are significant given the RET legislation passed through Parliament on the proviso that government 'will respond actively and in good faith to the findings of the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines'.

The recommendations essentially call for national wind farm guidelines, national noise standards, real time noise monitoring and the appointment of a new wind farm commissioner.

In sharp contrast, the dissenting report points out that the decision to release the interim report was politically motivated, that the terms of reference fail to consider the wind industry's benefits, and that there is no credible evidence of health impacts.


Clean Energy Australia Report 2014

The Clean Energy Council released its annual Clean Energy Australia Report in June, which provides the most comprehensive overview of Australia’s renewable energy sector including key energy market statistics from the previous calendar year.

The report found that 2014 was a tough one for renewable energy in Australia, with the amount of generation, investment and employment in the sector falling substantially.

 Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said 2014 was one of the toughest years for the renewable energy sector for more than a decade. But with a bipartisan deal on the Renewable Energy Target (RET) now agreed between the major parties and legislation being debated in Parliament, the future for the sector was looking much brighter.

“The review of the RET stalled investment in large-scale renewable energy such as wind and solar power in 2014, with investment falling by 88 per cent,” Mr Thornton said. 

“Rooftop solar power continued to grow, and the commercial solar sector saw the strongest growth of any form of renewable energy in 2014, as it was less  affected by the RET review,” he said.

For more details or to download the report, visit


Australian Clean Energy Summit

The Australian Clean Energy Summit, coming up in mid-July, will see the Australian renewable energy sector focus on a new phase of discussions now that the RET review is complete.

If you haven’t already booked your ticket to the Australian Clean Energy Summit from 15 – 16 July at the Hilton Sydney, book now to ensure you are part of the important discussions about the future for the renewable energy industry.

Day One (15 July) will feature political perspectives, sessions on business, finance, market trends and innovation, and a ‘power lunch’ on the future of energy utilities.

Must-attend Day Two (16 July) sessions for wind include:

  • Global wind markets
  • Financing and commercialising large-scale renewable energy
  • Planning and community engagement
  • Social licence to operate and renewables

For the full agenda, visit the Australian Clean Energy Summit website. Hope to see you there!


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