Con Manetas attended the Clean Energy Summit in Sydney last week. Over 80 speakers spoke at the two-day event, among them was the Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten, who gave a stirring address to over 200 strong and faithful Clean Energy Council members and guests. He said that the federal opposition was prepared to work together with the Federal Government on a Clean Energy Target to deliver long-term policy certainty.
While the mood at the Clean Energy Summit was buoyant with 49 of the 50 Finkel recommendations accepted by COAG last week, the one and most important recommendation on the Clean Energy Target was not and most industry speculators suggest this needs to be addressed immediately to get long term confidence back in the Clean investment community. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton addressed the growing concerns across the county about rising power prices and spoke about the frustrations of the business sector regarding politicians inabilities to come together on energy and climate to provide the necessary stability for new investment to fix the issue.
“We have a business sector which is increasingly recognising the economic opportunities provided by clean energy, both in meeting their own energy needs and in building multi-million dollar wind and solar projects across the country,” Mr Thornton said.
“The energy transition towards cleaner energy is underway, but we are still missing policy beyond 2020 which would provide businesses with confidence to invest their money. There are jobs going begging, economic benefits being wasted and power prices spiralling out of control.
“The only thing that is helping is the $8 billion worth of large renewable energy projects that are either under construction or will start in 2017. This new generation will help to push down the cost of power, but this level of new investment is unlikely to continue beyond 2020 without a clear policy roadmap.
“It takes years for the investments of today to have a major effect on the cost of power, yet politicians are still arguing over whether to support any energy policy at all.
Con commented that “the government just needs to get on with it and make a call.”
Battery storage, blockchain technology and peer to peer software were key stand outs of the Clean Energy Summit, together with wind and solar costs steadily reducing with advancements in production.