Victoria Shines on Renewables and Solar
Currently about 14 per cent of Victoria’s electricity comes from renewable sources. It is
anticipated that by 2025, up to 5400 megawatts of new large-scale renewable energy capacity will
be built in Victoria – representing an estimated $2.5 billion of investment in the state.
That means more than 4000 additional jobs in the renewable energy sector during the expected
peak year of construction in 2024, and around a 12 per cent reduction in electricity sector
greenhouse emissions by 2034-35.
The Premier also announced an auctions scheme – running a series of technology-neutral auctions,
as well as solar auctions – which will see project developers compete to be the lowest cost
provider. Successful bids will be given long-term contracts to support their projects, providing
certainty for investors.
The Andrews Labor Government will work with the renewable energy industry, electricity
networks and retailers, and consumer groups to refine the details of the scheme, with the first
auction of contracts to begin next year. Separate auctions will be held for large-scale solar
The targets and auction scheme form a key part of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Action Plan to be
released later this year – reviving a sector that they say has stalled since the Federal Government
cut the national Renewable Energy Target in 2015. Victoria recognises great potential for largescale
solar to become a mainstream source of energy across Australia over the next decade thanks
to its generation and energy demand, rapid advances in technology and decreasing costs.
Lily D’Ambrosio said “We’ve developed Victorian renewable energy targets that generate
thousands of new jobs, particularly in regional Victoria, while also cutting Victoria’s greenhouse
gas emissions [and] by making our scheme complementary to the Commonwealth’s Renewable
Energy Target we are saving the RET. Investors have lost faith in the national target, but we are
restoring the confidence needed to invest.
“We’ve developed Victorian renewable energy targets that generate thousands of new jobs,
particularly in regional Victoria, while also cutting Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions [and] by
making our scheme complementary to the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target we are
saving the RET. Investors have lost faith in the national target, but we are restoring the confidence
needed to invest.”
“This is an ambitious, but achievable, renewable energy target,” said John Grimes, Chief Executive
of the Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council. “This means jobs for Victorians. A
strong renewable energy target means regional development, job growth and lower power bills
for all Victorians over time.”
“Forty per cent renewables by 2025 means more Victorian families and businesses will be able to
slash their power bills with solar. It means northern Victoria will take its rightful place as a hub for
Earlier in June Daniel Andrews and Lily D’Ambrosio announced a series of five-year interim
targets with the goal of achieving the overall target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
They said Victoria will once again lead the nation on climate change by legislating ambitious
targets and introducing a pledge system to bring government, business and the community
together to achieve the collective goal.
The Andrews Labor Government is also introducing a wide-ranging emissions reduction pledge
program for the private, government and community sectors.
The pledge program will give businesses and organisations already taking significant action on
climate change the opportunity to showcase and build upon their work to-date, while inspiring
and enabling others to make their own contributions to emissions reductions.
Victorians are invited to visit the pledge website and register their commitment to be part of the
process of helping Victoria reach net zero by 2050 at: take2.vic.gov.au
Premier Daniel Andrews said “Victoria is once again leading the nation when it comes to tackling
climate change. Updating our laws and introducing a target to reduce emissions in Victoria will
ensure we take advantage of the new jobs and economic opportunities created by renewable
Lily D’Ambrosio added “We are taking decisive action because we know that climate change is real
and we ignore it at our peril. We are working with business and across government to reduce
emissions in Victoria.”
However RMIT University’s Alan Pears expressed skepticism, stating “While the Victorian
government’s commitment is welcome, it falls far short of what science and global responsibility
requires, and what is economically feasible.
“A much more credible approach would be to commit to moving to zero net emissions by 2020,
initially relying to a significant extent on - at present very cheap - international carbon permit
purchases to meet the commitment.
“Over time, driving often profitable energy efficiency, renewable energy and other emission
reduction and local sequestration actions would reduce reliance on international permits at
negligible cost - Victoria would then be seen as a real leader on climate policy.”
This article was first published in the E-news section of the Australian Solar Council.