The Nature Conservation Council of NSW today called on all parties to come together to fix legislation that has created the problem of ‘phantom’ renewable energy certificates flooding the market and pushing out large scale renewable energy projects like wind farms and reducing the number of green jobs.
“Building Australia’s clean renewable energy industry is vital if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, and it is a disaster that companies are having to lay off green collar workers because of flawed legislation,” said Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“The current framework that grants phantom renewable energy certificates (RECs) for solar hot water and heat pumps, that reduce demand rather than increase the supply of renewable energy, has flooded the market causing the price of RECs to crash.
“It is disturbing to read media reports that companies in the wind energy industry are laying off workers as wind turbine projects are being pushed out of the market(Financial Review 27/10). This is the wrong direction and the Federal Government must intervene to fix this problem.
“It would be a perverse outcome if the Government’s Renewable Energy Target Act actually led to a reduction in renewable energy projects in Australia.
“The Nature Conservation Council urges all parties to support the motions before the Senate today to fix the Renewable Energy Target Act and ensure that large scale wind and solar projects are not pushed out of the market by phantom RECs.
“Avoiding catastrophic climate change means building both large scale renewable energy capacity and distributed energy saving technologies like solar hot water and heat pumps. The Government should provide both industries with incentives, not play one off against the other as is happening in the current RECs market.
“If Australia is to have a clean energy future and realise the potential for hundreds of thousands of green jobs, the government must set policies and provide incentives for the new green industries to flourish,” Ms Faehrmann said.