Who wants renewable energy?

This week’s #RE100 meetings held in major Australian capital cities demonstrated the growing level of support in the corporate sector for a transition to 100% renewable energy. The slide above offers a glimpse of the diversity of businesses that are moving with the times and adopting clean energy. Meeting convener John Dee declared “We are now at a major tipping point for renewable energy”, and the sentiment was echoed by Smart Energy Council.

“What these #RE100 meetings show is that businesses are getting on with the business of cutting emissions,” said John Grimes who attended the #RE100 gathering in Canberra.

“The Morrison government has no climate change or energy policy and Australian businesses know they are exposed so they are taking positive action.

“Their businesses are increasingly committing to 100 per cent renewable energy because they know it is good for business customers and the environment.”

Federal energy ministers are today meeting in Sydney to discuss the coalition’s bid to lower prices and improve reliability, however notably absent from the agenda are efforts to cut greenhouse gas emitted by electricity generators. The coalition instead remains committed to fossil fuels, insisting coal will remain a vital part of Australia’s energy mix in the long term.

It is believed Victoria and Queensland have little intention of committing to anything at the COAG energy meeting; Victorian energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio has already declared "We won't be pushed into making any decisions at Friday's meeting by the minority and highly dysfunctional Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Liberal government.

"COAG energy council is becoming Groundhog Day – yet another meeting with a new minister and no federal energy policy," she told media.

John Grimes commented “With energy policy, if the Morrison Government needs the support of State and Territory Governments, it won’t have it. If it needs the support of Federal Parliament, it won’t have it.

“It will be interesting to see if the coalition achieves anything concrete before a federal election, and whether it really wants to achieve anything.”

There has however been one positive development, which is the retention of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme that will now run full term to 2030 instead of being cut short in 2020.

Earlier this week Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor told media “There’s no plan to change the SRES. The SRES and the large-scale renewable energy target are around until 2030. They fade between now and 2030, there’s decline as technology continues to improve. That’s our position.”

SRES deeming rates fall every year between now and 2030 and Taylor said “We are not proposing to change that. That’s designed to ensure the subsidy comes off as technology continues to improve.”

Status quo is good news for consumers who will continue to receive subsidies on rooftop PV installations and a relief for the entire solar industry, from installers to manufacturers and all in between, who faced a potential drop off in demand from 2020.

The SRES announcement was welcomed by the Smart Energy Council which had joined with Solar Citizens in a strong campaign demanding the retention of the SRES, rallying thousands of industry supporters to contact their parliamentarians.

In a message to members chief executive John Grimes said “The Morrison Government should be congratulated for their strong support for families and businesses looking to slash their power bills with solar.

“This is a huge win for the solar industry. The Smart Energy Council and Solar Citizens have campaigned hard to maintain the SRES.

“We could not have achieved this fantastic result without the strong support of the solar industry and solar homeowners around Australia, as well as strong support from the ALP and Greens.”


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