Climate Council hails ACT's efforts to push renewables in Australia

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“The ACT has shown that setting a seriously ambitious renewable energy target is not only affordable but is also achievable, and creates jobs and investment,” The Climate Council says in its latest Territory Trailblazer report.

It notes that the territory is also overseeing the biggest deployment of energy storage technologies in the country, by backing efforts to install 36MW of battery capacity in more than 5,000 homes and businesses by the end of the decade.

“(Its) support for the renewable energy sector during extended federal uncertainty proved critical for Australia’s renewable sector.”

The protracted debate over the country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), which resulted in a May 2015 bipartisan agreement to slash the target to 41 terawatt hours of annual power production to 33TWh by 2020, contributed to the loss of more than 5,000 jobs in renewable energy in Australia between 2012- 2015, claims the Sydney-based, independent non-profit research organization.

However, it expects the ACT’s policies to create more than 1,000 new construction jobs throughout the country.

The territory’s reverse auctions have ensured that new solar and wind projects will be developed at what it refers to as “record low” electricity prices.

“In doing so, (it) has provided transparency around the cost of renewable electricity in Australia,” The Climate Council says, noting that the ACT is unique in that policymakers have managed to set their differences aside to support its 100% renewable target across party lines.