Regional voters demand answers on renewables investment
All major political parties must outline how they will deliver long-term renewable energy benefits to the regions ahead of the federal election so voters can make an informed choice, the Australian Wind Alliance said today.
The federal opposition announced its Climate Change Action Plan today which explains how the ALP would transition the country’s energy system away from coal power to renewables.
Alliance national convenor Andrew Bray said while final details are still unavailable the plan’s policies would help provide the long-term certainty required for wind energy to flourish.
“The ALP policy is the first time a major party has outlined its plans for the renewables industry post 2020, and with the average life of a wind farm being 25-30 years that’s exactly the sort of certainty the market has been looking for,” Mr Bray said.
“Some of the best wind and solar resources are in regional Australia. Investors want to invest, and towns want to see them built – but the political leadership and market certainty has been missing in action.”
Mr Bray said now it was time for the Coalition to explain to voters how it was going to enable Australia to capitalise on the opportunities of a rapid global shift to a zero carbon economy.
“Polls and surveys keep demonstrating how much Australians love renewables, and that’s no surprise when you look at the jobs and investment that such projects create – particularly in regional areas,” he said.
“Voters will be paying close attention to the position of each major party and candidate when it comes to renewable energy. They want to see jobs of the future created in their towns, they want to see new investment in their region and they want access to cheaper and cleaner power.”
A recent survey of voters in New South Wales found 81 per cent of respondents support wind farms in the state.
Mr Bray said research showed it was not only possible for the country to be powered by 100% renewables but that it also made economic sense.
“Renewable energy is the solution, and wind is the cheapest new form of electricity generation – both in renewables and non-renewables.”
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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.