The Victorian state election result over the weekend is further proof that renewable energy and the politics of climate change will be a key federal election issue in 2019.
Labor seized at least 11 seats from the Liberals, and could be on track to win more than 60 seats in the 88-seat Lower House in Victoria.
Even Liberal MPs are admitting that climate change was a popular topic for voters at polling booths on Saturday.
Victorian Liberal MP Tim Wilson admitted that every second person he spoke to on Saturday mentioned energy, climate or the deposing of former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
Meanwhile, Labor has unveiled an energy policy that includes a 50 per cent renewable energy target for 2030, an extra $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and $5 billion for a new Energy Modernisation Fund.
The policy also features a $200 million battery storage rebate scheme and plans for at least 50 per cent of the nation’s electricity to be sourced from renewable energy by 2030.
Federal Labor’s plans to increase funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and boost energy efficiency to drive down costs and cut emissions has been welcomed by the Green Building of Australia (GBCA).
The council's CEO, Romilly Madew, said while the property industry continues to accelerate actions to deliver a low emissions future, governments need to move faster to keep pace with global commitments and help secure confidence in the market settings that drive investment.
“This Labor policy represents a step forward in delivering the opportunities presented by a focus on increasing energy efficiency and productivity across the economy to help Australia meet its Paris Climate Agreement targets,” she said.
Redback Technologies CEO, Patrick Matweew, came out in support of the battery storage rebate scheme.
He said to encourage the mass-uptake of storage technology, subsidies and government loans are the most effective way to move Australia to a more economical, more reliable and clean energy future.
“Offering subsidies at a federal level, such as state governments have done in the past, will encourage more Australians to take control of their own energy consumption and generation, and reduce reliance on coal,” Matweew said.
“With smart, connected battery systems, excess electricity can be stored and used when needed. This takes stress off grid infrastructure, helps stabilise power supply and the grid in the form of Demand Response functions. It also gives homeowners a voice in the energy market and encourages them to become masters of their own energy destiny.
“It’s a win-win situation for government and consumers, and subsidies such as those proposed by the Labor government can help get us there.”