“Support of the Renewable Energy Target by Jacqui Lambie and Clive Palmer is great news for employment in Tasmania” Rob Manson, President of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance (TREA) said today. “And its great news for families and business owners looking to install renewable energy to help further reduce their energy costs.”
On 21 June Senator-elect Jacqui Lambie described any changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) as “illegitimate” reforms for which the government did not have a mandate. On 25 June Clive Palmer announced that the Palmer United Party would not support changes to the RET or the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Climate Change Authority (CCA).
As TREA pointed out in our submission to the RET Review, renewable energy generation is a major employer in Tasmania:
- The solar PV industry in Tasmania employs around 450 people. These are skilled, permanent jobs and provide employment in rural as well as urban areas.
- Hydro Tasmania employs around 1100 people in generating and selling renewable energy from traditional large scale hydro and wind farms and related activities.
The future of these industries was under threat from changes to the RET, which supports both large and small scale renewable energy projects.
“With the threat to the RET out of the way we can focus on the many positive possibilities for expanding renewable energy generation in Tasmania” said Mr Manson.
Tasmania has enormous potential for small scale wind projects on farms, run of river hydro, and community and commercial solar PV.
“We are particularly excited by the possibilities of emerging technologies combining electric vehicles and battery storage” said Mr Manson. “The billion dollars a year that Tasmania spends on imported transport fuels could be far better spent developing an electric vehicle industry that is powered by our local clean green electricity.”
We urge the Palmer United Party to support the continuation of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the other important mechanism for supporting innovative new technologies.
TREA will be meeting with State Energy Minister Matthew Groom next week to outline our vision for how the state can build on its strengths in renewable energy.