Back-down on solar panel incentives puts WA last in race for green jobs and clean energy

2nd June 2009 - The Conservation Council of WA has expressed disappointment that the State Government has reneged on its key election promise to introduce the renewable energy gross feed in tariff, saying that this decision is symptomatic of the Government’s lack of vision for the State’s renewable energy potential.

Director Piers Verstegen said, “The announcement that the gross feed-in tariff will be replaced by the delayed introduction of a second-rate system to save money is consistent with the general lack of support for renewable energy in the recent State Budget.”

“We believe that the Governments cost-cutting measures are actually unnecessary, as the cost of the Feed-in Tariff should be borne by conventional electricity users, not subsidised by taxpayers in the form of a Treasury allocation. This would result in an extremely small increase to energy prices, but is important in upholding the polluter-pays principle, and is recognised best practice means of supporting feed-in tariff policies.”

“The Conservation Council’s analysis of the State Budget shows that the clear energy investment bias is 99% fossil fuel and only 1% in renewables. Verve Energy will have invested nearly $500 million in fossil fuel power generation by 2013, but only $3.5 million to renewable energy in that period. Similarly, it appears that there is very little funding identified to support renewable energy as part of Western Power’s $1.7 billion works program.”

“In supporting renewable energy, it is vital that governments invest in Research and Innovation into new and emerging technologies that will not be supported by private investors.” “The Federal Government has allocated ($109 million I am sure there is a lot more than this $500M??) for supporting innovative renewable energy as part of an Energy Innovation Fund; however when it comes to attracting our fair share of this investment to Western Australia, our cupboard is virtually bare.”

Research commissioned by the Climate Institute shows that capital expenditure on renewable energy projects in Western Australia to 2020 is one of lowest of all States and is only a third of the investment occurring in South Australia.

On a per capita basis, by 2020 Western Australia will be generating 514 kW of additional renewable energy compared to 1830kW in South Australia and 894kW in NSW and the ACT.

“This puts Western Australia squarely in the laggard position when it comes to supporting renewable energy and as a consequence we will miss out on the thousands of new green jobs that could be created by state government leadership on renewable energy”

Recently, CCWA and WASEA released a map showing WA’s renewable energy boom state potential. Sadly, without a significant policy shift, we will not realise that potential under the current State Government”

  • MEDIA CONTACT: Piers Verstegen 0411 557 892
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