Revised Renewable Energy Target Not Enough : Report

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The Climate Institute and Westpac recently commissioned Bloomberg New Energy Finance to model Australian and global clean energy investments to 2020 and the impact of renewable energy investment on emissions reductions.
 
Released last week, “Renewable energy investment and abatement opportunities in Australia” states that the revised Renewable Energy Target will go some way to address the polluting coal-fired power sector and will stimulate billions of dollars of investment in new technologies and skills. 
 
2010 is expected to see record new investment in renewable energy globally, driven by increasing levels of investment in China and as more global clean energy stimulus money starts reaching the renewable energy sector in the USA and other major economies.
 
The Bloomberg report says that despite Australia having world class renewable energy resources, investment in the sector has historically been “subdued”. Australia still contributes a very small fraction of total global investment in clean energy. In 2009, Australia’s contribution amount to 2.4% of total investment in Asia and 0.8% of the global total.
 
Should the amendments to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) pass Parliament; Australian investors will potentially have access to a $20 billion opportunity in clean energy. The RET could deliver emission reductions of around 120 million tonnes over ten years to 2020 and thousands of new jobs would be created.
 
However, Climate Institute believes Australia will not be competitive in a global low-carbon economy and will not meet its commitments to reduce emissions without a carbon price to drive medium and long term investments. It says putting a price on carbon is necessary – and inevitable.
 
View the full report (PDF)