The Victorian Government will introduce a bill into parliament today to increase the state's Renewable Energy Target (RET) to 50 per cent by 2030.
The Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill 2019 builds on the Government’s VRET legislation, which will ensure 25 per cent of electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said an increased VRET will create around 24,000 jobs by 2030 and provide certainty and investor confidence for the renewable energy industry, driving an additional $5.8 billion in economic activity in Victoria.
"By boosting renewable energy in Victoria the government is creating thousands of jobs, putting more energy into the grid and driving down energy prices," D'Ambrosio said.
"A strong renewable energy target boosts the pipeline of renewable projects and encourages businesses to invest in the local supply chain, boosting employment, particularly in regional Victoria."
D'Ambrosio said putting more renewable energy on the grid will also drive down the cost of power for Victorians – delivering savings of around $32 a year for households, $3,100 a year for medium businesses and $150,000 each year for large companies.
"The increased target will also help drive down emissions – achieving a VRET of 50 per cent by 2030 is the equivalent of taking 655,000 cars off the road for a year," she said.
D'Ambrosio said the VRET is also boosting TAFE enrolments with Federation University establishing a dedicated Global Wind Organisation Standard Course to provide the skills needed to work in the renewable energy industry.
The government's Solar Homes initiative will deliver solar panels to 700,000 homes, solar hot water systems to 60,000 homes and solar batteries to 10,000 homes over the next 10 years.
Nationally, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) said Australia is on target to exceed its 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) following record investment in solar over the last 12 months.
According to the 2018 Renewable Energy Target Administrative Report, generation will increase from around 22,000 gigawatt hours in 2018 to around 30,000 gigawatt hours in 2019 and 40,000 gigawatt hours in 2020.
"Australia is installing solar and wind so fast that it is now leading the world in the per capita deployment rate for renewables,” the report said.
Renewable capacity installed under the RET more than doubled from 2.2 gigawatts in 2017 to 5 gigawatts in 2018.
A record 3455 megawatts of large scale renewable energy projects were installed in 2018, more than triple the 1113 megawatts installed in 2017, which was the previous record.
"The strong momentum in new firm project announcements continued in 2018 and early 2019 well beyond the point where it was clear the 2020 target would be exceeded," the report said.