Put down the big sticks and face facts on renewables, says CEC

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Clean Energy Council calls for policy reset on energy, starting with acknowledgement that Australia’s power should be 50% renewable from solar, wind and hydro by 2030.

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The Clean Energy Council has called for an energy policy reset by Australia’s major political parties, as the 2019 federal election draws near.

With the federal Coalition’s energy policy in tatters, and federal Labor threatening to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the CEC says there is still time to “put away the big sticks” and get the national energy market right.

According to the CEC, that means accepting that at least half of Australia’s power should be delivered by renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydro by 2030, and committing to a zero emissions electricity sector well before 2050.

“Federal politics has failed energy consumers. Leadership from the next federal government is essential to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy,” said CEC chief Kane Thornton in comments on Monday.

“The Clean Energy Council has developed a package of policy directives which will help keep the extraordinary momentum going in the sector and continue generating jobs and investment for Australians in regional communities.

“We should also begin planning the infrastructure to export renewable energy to the rest of the world through clean hydrogen and high-voltage DC cables,” Thornton said.

And he also called for a commitment from the major parties to extend the lives of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which he described as critical organisations.

“A clean energy future is within reach, but we need effective planning and policy at the federal level to get there,” Thornton said.

“We look forward to working with both the federal government and the Labor Party on developing policy, as well as providing advice to whoever wins the next election.”

The 10 recommendations from the Clean Energy Council’s policy directives are grouped into the following categories:

*   Commit to a target of at least 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, as well as a zero-emissions electricity sector well before 2050
*   Accelerate reforms and finance support to develop Australia’s electricity transmission network for a clean energy future
*   Encourage the uptake of energy storage such as batteries and pumped hydro
*   Maintain the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)
*   Mandate solar power in all new homes
*   Support innovation in finance, technology and integration. Extend the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
*   Commit to the development of a clean energy export strategy
*   Support skills development to meet the needs of a growing industry
*   Support the establishment of a battery manufacturing and recycling industry
*   Develop a single national electrical safety body.

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