Rudd wind farm launch pure spin until RET fixed

Rudd wind farm launch pure spin until RET fixed

Canberra, Wednesday 18 November 2009

The Capital Wind Farm at Bungendore opened by Prime Minister Rudd today
may be amongst the last significant renewable energy developments in
Australia if the Government fails to fix the flawed renewable energy
target legislation.

As the Greens had repeatedly warned would happen, the inclusion of solar
hot water, heat pumps and multiplied rooftop solar credits in the
renewable energy target is undermining the scheme by crashing the price
of renewable energy certificates (RECs), meaning commercial-scale
renewable energy developments such as wind farms worth $20 billion
cannot get off the ground.

“Hundreds of jobs, a flourishing climate friendly industry and the Rudd
Government’s climate credibility are all on the line if the Renewable
Energy Target is not urgently fixed,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader,
Senator Christine Milne said.

“Mr Rudd is clearly keen to look green in the week that his failure of
an emissions trading scheme enters the Senate, but standing up in front
of a wind farm when his own policy will destroy investment in new wind
farms is no way to achieve that.

“I hope he enjoyed the photo opportunity as it might well be his last in
front of new investment in renewables unless his Government acknowledges
and fixes its mistake.

“The Rudd Government’s spin-over-substance approach to the climate
crisis is disintegrating”

Alongside the evidence that large-scale renewable energy developments
are stalling, there are now fears that the rooftop solar industry may
hit the wall early next year due to the crashed REC price. The scheme
must be urgently fixed by making the hot water technologies additional
to the target if the industry is to avoid dislocation in early 2010.

The Greens moved amendments to the legislation when it was debated in
August to prevent this problem from arising. It was a point that was
pressed in negotiations with Minister Wong, but was rejected by both the
Government and Opposition at the time. A Greens motion calling on the
Government to bring the legislation back and fix it immediately was
defeated by Labor, the Coalition and Family First last month.

“The Government bends over backwards to protect the profits of coal
corporations, but they won’t lift a finger when clean and clever
renewable energy jobs are on the line.

“The Government failed a critical test in rejecting the motion to bring
the renewable energy target legislation back. Jobs will be lost thanks
to this decision.”

Note: The Greens’ preferred position is to take solar hot water and heat
pumps out of the renewable energy target and placed in a parallel energy
efficiency target scheme, however what was proposed, adding these RECs
to the top of the target, was a compromise position which can easily be
immediately implemented to save jobs at risk.

Tim Hollo
Media Adviser
Senator Christine Milne | Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate
Change Spokesperson
Suite SG-112 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3588 | M: 0437
587 562
http://www.christinemilne.org.au/| www.GreensMPs.org.au
<http://www.greensmps.org.au/>

PROTECTING THE CLIMATE IS A JOB FOR EVERYONE

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