The Department of Energy and Earth Resources announced last week its Renewable Energy Roadmap.
An extraordinarily unambitious document, it states that Victoria will commit to a renewable energy target of no less than 20 percent by 2020. To put this into context:
- the A.C.T.’s target is 90% by 2020, and 100% by 2025.
- South Australia already has over 20% renewable energy.
- The national Renewable Energy target as legislated by the Coalition government equates to 23.5% renewable energy by 2020.
In 2014 12% of Victoria’s energy came from renewables.
Why is Victoria’s renewable energy penetration so low, and the government so unambitious? It wouldn’t have anything to do with all our coal?!
Earlier this week President Obama said “when you start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding — that’s a problem.”
Clearly there is strong opposition from the coal power stations, such as Hazelwood (approaching its 45th birthday and well past its design life) to clean renewable energy in our state. We need a government that stands up for renewables, but that is also willing to invest into creating opportunities and jobs for people in the Latrobe Valley, whilst recognising the employment opportunities clean power creates elsewhere.
At least the roadmap appears to recognise that the current 6.2 cents per kWh feed in tariff doesn’t fully recognise the full benefit of solar, but unfortunately not with much conviction. “To ensure distributed generation customers are being fairly compensated for the value their systems provide, the Government will ask the Essential Services Commission (ESC) to undertake an inquiry into the true value of distributed generation to Victorian consumers. This work will review whether current policy and regulatory frameworks in Victoria adequately remunerate distributed generation for the full value it provides, including whether the current objectives of FiT policy in Victoria are appropriate.
As shown in the graph below there is a massive difference between what households pay for electricity they consume compared with what they get when their solar systems export power to the grid – power that is then purchase by your neighbours next door or up the street a bit for four times what you sell it for!
Additionally the determination of the current feed in tariff fails to consider the environmental benefit of clean solar power.
Consultation on the roadmap will be open soon. Make sure you make your views known.