Investment in regional Australia from new wind energy projects is up in air after the government announced that the panel to review the Renewable Energy Target will be made up primarily of big business representatives.
The panel will be chaired by senior business figure, Dick Warburton, and also includes former Managing Director of WA-owned coal and gas electricity generator, Verve Energy, Shirley In’t Veld and fossil fuel industry lobbyist, Dr Brian Fisher.
“The Renewable Energy Target has delivered jobs and economic stimulus to towns all across regional Australia through wind energy projects and solar panels on roofs,” said Andrew Bray, State Coordinator of the Victorian Wind Alliance.
"Regional communities throughout the country depend on the RET for crucial wind energy investment so it's disappointing there are no panel members from country Australia.
“There is also a clear lack on this panel of anyone who genuinely understands the value of renewable energy.
“With so much economic uncertainty around, this is no time to be pulling back on renewable energy.
One of the tasks of the review will be to examine the cost of the Renewable Energy Target.
“We’re looking forward to the review clearing up the actual cost of the RET, which is only around 2-3% of an average bill.
"Wind energy has no fuel cost so it's a safeguard against rising gas prices. It's vitally important for consumers that the cost certainty of wind energy is retained by this review.
“Strengthening the Renewable Energy Target will keep investment flowing into regional Australia, keep a lid on rising electricity prices and provide reliable clean energy for our electricity grid.