Victoria’s first – and Australia’s largest – large-scale renewable energy auction has attracted roughly six times the capacity put to tender in the 650MW scheme, the state energy minister has said.
In a speech at an event hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Melbourne, Lily D’Ambrosio said the response to the reverse auction had been “overwhelming,” closing with more than 15 proposals totalling over 3,500MW of new wind and solar capacity.
“These are firm proposals, with approvals in place, ready to go. And they’re proof that when you provide the market with policy certainty – the market is ready and willing to respond,” she said.
“There is a hugely competitive field of wind and solar projects which the government is currently evaluating – and successful bids will be announced later this year.
“It will attract up to $1.3 billion of investment, create 1,250 construction jobs over two years, and 90 ongoing jobs – mainly in regional Victoria.”
But D’Ambrosio opened her speech with comments on the federal government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee, which she effectively said her Labor government would not be supporting, in its current form.
“Our government has made it clear from the beginning – we want a national energy policy that is affordable, reliable and increasingly renewable, with a clear pathway to significantly reducing carbon emissions,” she said.
“This is something we are yet to see from the federal government.
“We want a detailed policy backed by consultation – something we are yet to see from the Commonwealth.
“We won’t be signing up to anything that undermines or puts a break on Victoria’s nation-leading renewable energy agenda and climate change policies. There are too many investment dollars and jobs at stake.
“Otherwise the only guarantee is that we won’t support it.”
The comments deliver yet another blow to the Turnbull government’s beleaguered policy proposal, which federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg just yesterday described as the only option on the table, and the “last chance for bipartisanship” on national energy reform.
But D’Ambrosio stopped short of completely ruling out Victoria’s support of the NEG, pending the development of more detail around some of its core – and most controversial – proposals.
“Once we see more detail around the design and key elements of the National Energy Guarantee, we will be better placed to determine the way forward,” she said.
“In the meantime we’re getting on with our investments in new energy technologies to deliver a system that is affordable, sustainable and renewable.”