Environment Victoria has released a report detailing what they say has been a “systematic campaign against renewable energy” costing Victoria investment, employment and revenue opportunities.
The report, Sun Block and Wind Breaks, highlights 25 measures the Baillieu and Napthine governments have undertaken since the 2010 election to stymie the progress of clean energy and energy efficiency.
“Most of Victoria’s policy agenda for a cleaner and more efficient energy mix has been deliberately dismantled over the past four years,” Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said.
“This report details how these ideological attacks have seen Victoria fall behind states like South Australia in the race to embrace clean energy. Victoria continues to have the dirtiest power supply in the country.”
The new report highlights 25 attacks made on clean and efficient energy by the Baillieu/Napthine Governments since the 2010 election, which comprise:
- Implementing restrictive regulations on new wind farms
- Abandoning negotiations to phase out the polluting Hazelwood coal power station
- Reneging on clean energy commitments in the Climate Change White Paper
- Removing the 20 per cent emissions reduction target from the Climate Change Act
- Slashing the premium solar feed-in-tariff from 60c to 25c in 2011
- Restricting household access to the standard solar feed-in-tariff
- Slashing the solar feed-in tariff from 25c to 8c in September 2012
- Opposing the carbon price and overstating its impact on Victoria
- Renewing Alcoa’s coal mining lease at Anglesea for 50 years, with no further measures to reduce its pollution
- Removing climate change and renewable energy from the remit of Sustainability Victoria
- Working to create a brown coal export industry
- Spending taxpayer money on a PR campaign to promote coal mining
- Dropping an election commitment to introduce pollution standards for new coal power stations
- Failure to deliver any progress towards election commitment on improving residential energy efficiency
- Scrapping an $20 million election commitment to replace street lights with energy efficient bulbs
- Failure to deliver an election commitment to review subsidies to fossil fuels
- Cancelling the household solar hot water rebate
- Repealing the cost-effective Environment and Resource Efficiency Plan program, which was helping businesses reduce energy consumption
- Drastically cutting back loans to government departments to improve energy efficiency through the Greener Government Buildings program
- Extending the operating licence of the Anglesea Power Station, despite the closure of the Alcoa smelter that consumed all its electricity
- Providing $75m in grants to three proposed new coal projects in the Latrobe Valley
- Moving to scrap the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target
- Pushing for reduction of the Federal Renewable Energy Target, and to include gas as a “renewable” source of energy
- Supporting electricity retailer Simply Energy’s decision to charge customers an extra $51 a year for having solar panels
- Cancelling requirements for Government agencies to purchase green electricity
“The decisions by the current Government stand in stark contrast to the actions needed to reduce emissions and move to renewable energy production and mean Victoria has missed out on billions of dollars of investment, thousands of jobs and the chance to clean up our power supply,” Mr Wakeham said.
“Renewable energy is one of the world’s fastest growing industries but while it is moving forward the Coalition is taking Victoria backwards.
“Few of these attacks were announced to the public before the 2010 election, and it is difficult to see how they have benefited the people of Victoria.”
See the full report here.