Clean energy industry applauds Federal Budget

Wind turbines and solar panels against beautiful sky (gamuda)
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The Albanese Government’s Federal Budget expenditure to accelerate clean energy will be critical to easing cost-of-living pressures, according to the Clean Energy Council.

With close to $25 billion committed to clean energy spending, the Clean Energy Council applauded the Federal Government throwing its support behind Australia’s rapid transition to renewable energy, ensuring more Australians can access clean, low-cost electricity.

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“This is the medium-to-long-term Federal Government expenditure that our industry has long called for,” Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said.

“Funding, like that announced last week under the Rewiring the Nation program to proceed with Marinus Link and for Clean Energy Finance Corporation funding for the Victoria-NSW KerangLink interconnector, enabling more clean, low-cost renewable energy and storage to power Australian homes and business is what will ultimately ease cost-of-living pressures.

“We’re being warned that there is more pain on the way in the short-term due to our reliance on an energy system built around the failing dirty technologies of the past—unreliable coal and expensive gas. Tonight’s Federal Budget gets Australia on the right track, making the most of the renewable energy boom and setting our nation up for clean energy superpower status.

“It’s a Budget that has prioritised funding in the renewable energy labour market that supports a growing and diverse regional workforce. Clean, low-cost energy can provide enormous opportunities for workers, communities and our environment. After a decade in the energy wilderness, tonight’s Federal Budget accelerates the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy while investing heavily in the jobs and skills needed to realise that transition.”

But not everyone is happy with the Federal Budget, with CO2CRC CEO Dr Matthias Raab slamming the decision to “effectively abolish all financial support for carbon capture utilisation and storage”.

Raab said the move was “a staggering reversal of established government policy which had positioned Australia as an innovation leader in this essential emissions reduction technology”.

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“The rest of the world is investing in CCUS, but the Australian Government is now withdrawing. The big swings in policy make it almost impossible to establish investment at scale and as does the lack of bipartisan support.

Tim Buckley, director of independent think tank Climate Energy Finance, said, “Overall the budget looks to be pragmatic, consistent and aligned with the pre-budget government commitments and direction of policy discussions when it comes to decarbonisation of our energy systems and economy.”

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