MEDIA RELEASE: Wednesday, 24 March 2016
The Australian Wind Alliance warns the Federal Government’s shakeup of its renewable energy agencies isn’t the game changer it’s being built up to be.
Cabinet has agreed to dump plans to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. At the same time, the Government wants to re-allocate $1 billion from the CEFC to a new clean energy innovation fund and strip ARENA of its ability to award grants to support emerging technologies.
The Wind Alliance’s national co-ordinator Andrew Bray says the green energy agencies will now survive beyond the election, no matter who wins.
“Protecting the future of the renewable energy agencies is an important step back from the Abbott government's anti-renewables stance, but it’s not a game changer,” Mr Bray said.
“The government has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to clean energy policy. We will need a full range of renewable technologies to complement wind and today’s changes make it much harder for start-ups and innovative ideas to gain financial support.”
Mr Bray says the CEFC could still invest in wind farms under the changes.
“The industry is still recovering from the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s bid to abolish the renewable energy target. While this is still happening, there may still be openings for the CEFC to strategically invest in wind projects," Mr Bray said.
“Wind energy is already delivering massive benefits for regional Australia, through job and income creation, and cheaper, cleaner power.
“Speeding up investment in renewable energy, espcially wind, is key to reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with the international climate change agreement struck in Paris late last year.
"Wind is the cheapest, new form of electricity generation - renewable or otherwise.”
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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.