Politicians must back the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) if they want to create jobs and cut electricity bills for the state, says Australian Wind Alliance National Coordinator Andrew Bray.
New research by not-for-profit Environment Victoria shows that keeping the VRET policy and strengthening it with a guarantee to construct at least 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy a year between 2019 and 2024 would create 12,200 new jobs.
“The fate of the VRET, which would see 40 per cent of Victoria’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2025, hangs in the balance at the 2018 state election,” Mr Bray said.
“People want certainty that their electricity bills will shrink, that they will have secure jobs, and that their government is committed to fighting climate change and its dangerous impacts.
“Cancelling the VRET would be a huge loss as it would leave the state without strong policy to unlock even more jobs, electricity price reductions, and emissions cuts.
“The renewables boom has seen millions of dollars of economic benefit go to our local communities. This boom has resulted in 1,585 megawatts (MW) of large-scale wind and solar projects—the equivalent of powering almost 500,000 homes—coming online in the last six years.
“While there’s another 2,518MW under construction or financed, only reliable, long term policy will see these jobs continue into the long-term future."
Bob Menzel, director of Portland-based Menzels Electrics, adds: “In recent years, my business has grown substantially and I’ve been able to hire 40 workers to meet increasing demand for wind farm wiring.”
“We went through tough times when the national Renewable Energy Target came under attack in 2014, and we had to lay off more than half of our workforce as a result of the uncertainty.
“We have built ourselves back up since then, and it is essential for our business and our workers that the VRET is continued and strengthened.”
For interviews, please contact Andrew Bray at 0434 769 463 or [email protected].
The Australian Wind Alliance is a community-based advocacy group of farmers, wind workers, small businesses and residents. We share a common vision of harnessing Australia’s world-class wind resources to power our homes, cities and industries with clean renewable energy. Go to www.windalliance.org.au for details.