The federal government’s planned National Energy Guarantee will put at risk jobs and investment in the south-west wind power industry, a renewable energy advocate says.
Yes2Renewables coordinator Pat Simmons said the guarantee was a backward step for the Victorian renewable energy industry.
Under the guarantee, coal, gas, hydro and biomass energy will be rewarded for their dispatchability while wind, solar and hydro will be recognised as lower emissions technologies but will no longer be subsidised.
Mr Simons said the guarantee was “locking in polluting forms of power.”
The federal government’s move reinforced the need for Victoria to lead such as with its draft legislation committing the state to 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.
Mr Simons said the bill had passed in the Victorian Lower House and was expected to be approved in the Upper House with the support of Western Victorian MP James Purcell and Fiona Patten from the Reason Party (formerly the Sex Party).
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the guarantee would mean electricity bills would be lower than currently forecast and lower than they would have been under a Clean Energy Target.
The guarantee would also give certainty to investors and encourage investment in all forms of power, Mr Tehan said.
“We understand that families and businesses are doing it tough and this guarantee will provide cost-of-living relief,” he said.