Victoria sets ambitious renewable energy targets to create thousands of jobs

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Victoria is aiming to generate 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, and up to 40% by 2025, in an effort to create new jobs and reduce its carbon footprint.

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Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the targets while attending a community event to mark the arrival of the first turbine blades at the Ararat Wind Farm on Wednesday.

“Growing renewable energy means growing jobs, and we want a big boost to both right here in Victoria,” the Premier said.

“The world is shifting to renewable energy – it creates jobs, drives growth, and protects our environment – and Victorians want to be at the forefront of that.”

Mr Andrews also announced an auctions scheme – running a series of technology-neutral auctions, as well as solar auctions – which will see project developers compete to be the lowest cost provider.

He said successful bids will be handed long-term contracts to support their projects, providing certainty for investors.

“The targets and auction scheme form a key part of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Action Plan to be released later this year – reviving a sector which has stalled since the Federal Government cut the national Renewable Energy Target in 2015,” the Premier explained.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the State government will work with the renewable energy industry, electricity networks and retailers, and consumer groups to refine the details of the scheme.

According to her, the first auction of contracts will begin next year, with separate auctions to be held for large scale solar projects.

“We’ve developed Victorian renewable energy targets that generate thousands of new jobs, particularly in regional Victoria, while also cutting Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions,” the Minister added.

“By making our scheme complementary to the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target we are saving the RET. Investors have lost faith in the national target, but we are restoring the confidence needed to invest.”