Smart Energy Council campaigns against NEG, latest government proposal “spells disaster’

Share

The Smart Energy Council is not taking a backwards step in its campaign against the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee. It is currently raising funds to take the fight against what it describes as a “disaster for renewables.”

Noting that a 26% emissions reductions target, as proposed by the government in Friday’s policy paper, will likely be met by 2020 the Smart Energy Council has described it as a “line in the sand moment.” The forecast is in line with that published by Green Energy Markets’ Tristan Edis, who has noted that rooftop solar uptake is currently far outpacing modelling underpinning the NEG.

“The NEG will not deliver any additional renewable energy projects between 2020 and 2030.”

The Smart Energy Council, formerly the Australian Solar Council, has deployed strident rhetoric in the past, in its efforts to support the Renewable Energy Target and in its defence of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme – the latter being the mechanism by which rooftop PV is subsidised. However, in pushing back against the NEG as currently proposed it is facing a particularly immovable object.

Given the opposition to renewable energy from an outspoken and influential wing of the federal Coalition partners, it appears unlikely that energy minister Josh Frydenburg will be willing to budge on the emission reduction target. While Labor state governments in Queensland and Victoria, and potentially Western Australia, may attempt to affect a more ambitious target, Frydenburg is unlikely to budge even if he might like to.

Alongside the 45% target, the Smart Energy Council is campaigning for current State and Territory renewable energy targets to be maintained; a mechanism to prevent any national emissions targets from being wound back; and a Emissions Reductions Safeguard to be incorporated into the NEG.

“This next month will decide the future of Australia’s solar and renewable energy industry for the next 12 years,” states the Smart Energy Council. “We need your help to convince the States and Territories to reject this outrageous policy proposal.”

The Smart Energy Council has established a donations and supporter page for its NEG campaign here.

The Federal Government is looking for the states and territory governments to sign off on the NEG in a meeting in August.