CEC urges Turnbull Government to adopt Clean Energy Target

clean energy policy

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is urging the Federal Government to support the Finkel Review’s Clean Energy Target.

CEC Executive Director Kane Thornton said a long-term energy policy will accelerate private sector investment.

In a statement, Mr Thornton said the Finkel reforms are “meaningless” without a Clean Energy Target (CET).

Furthermore, he believes reforms will modernise the energy sector and ensure private investors have confidence to build new generation.

“We need to drive down power prices and secure our energy supply,” he says.

Towards a better regulatory framework

Mr Thornton said the 49 Finkel Review recommendations endorsed by the Australian Government will deliver a more contemporary energy framework.

CEC calls for a Clean Energy Target to support energy investment

CEC calls for a Clean Energy Target to support energy investment. Image: iStock

However, Thornton said new energy investors “face substantial risks which can only be offset by a CET (or similar policy)”.

Capital-intensive new generation methods can compete with traditional methods only if ROI is certain.

“A CET would give private investors the confidence their investment will be viable in the face of these challenges,” he said.

In addition, a Clean Energy Target will offset uncertainty in the industry about solar power systems.

2020 RET sparked energy investment boom

Mr Thornton said bipartisan support for the 2020 Renewable Energy Target currently provides this confidence. Furthermore, he said it resulted in over 40 projects worth $8 billion under construction throughout Australia.

“This unprecedented level of new investment is not nearly enough to replace the ageing coal generation that is continuing to close over coming decades. It will stall before 2020 unless future policy certainty is established with bipartisan political support.”

In addition, Mr Thornton said the Finkel Review should  be adopted as a complete package.

“We urge the Australian Government to support a Clean Energy Target that will provide investment confidence for much needed new electricity generation,” he said.

“Only new investment can drive down power prices and improve reliability.”

The Finkel Review was released by Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel on June 9.

Its aim is to provide governments with a blueprint for energy security as more renewable energy enters the grid.