Federal Budget locks in clean energy benefits for Australia

Tonight’s Federal Budget was a welcome re-statement of support for renewable energy and energy efficiency and a recognition of their benefits both economically and in terms of carbon abatement, according to the Clean Energy Council.

Clean Energy Council acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said tonight’s Federal Budget locked in Australia’s commitment to clean energy.

“In this budget the Federal Government has recognised the importance of the programs that are in place to accelerate renewable energy and energy efficiency, and the industry welcomes that,” Mr Thornton said.

“A lot of the hard work has already been done in developing the carbon price package, which will collect tax revenue from the country’s biggest polluters and deliver cleaner energy for all Australians.

“The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation are important commitments made as part of the carbon price package that will help to turbo-charge the domestic clean energy sector.

“Together with the national 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target, we now have a suite of programs that support home-grown clean energy innovation from early research and development right through to full-scale commercial roll-out.

“The industry is ready to deliver on the promise of tens of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in investment that can be unlocked by these policies.

“With the cost of renewable energy falling faster than expected while fossil fuel based electricity generation costs continue to rise, investment in clean energy now will help us to avoid price shocks in the future. This budget will set the nation up for a transition to cleaner sources of energy,” he said.

Mr Thornton said it was disappointing to lose the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program, which was an announcement from the last Federal Election.

“It’s unfortunate that this program was a casualty, as it was widely regarded as one of the cheapest forms of carbon abatement. We are hopeful that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Low Carbon Australia can fill this gap and drive energy efficiency in the building sector,” he said.