While the rest of the world steps up efforts to reduce the dominance of coal, the head of one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers has urged Australia to end the uncertainty around the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Founder and managing director of the Suzlon Group Tulsi Tanti said investment in clean energy requires a clear and stable policy environment, but that projects had stalled in Australia while the RET is being reviewed.
With India planning to more than double the share of renewables in its mix of fuels in the next five years, Mr Tanti said every nation needs a “long-term investment-grade policy that will underpin the move to a clean energy economy”.
Senvion Australia, part of the Suzlon Group, began developing and building wind farms in Australia 12 years ago and represents a third of the wind industry’s investment in Australia to date across 18 wind farms.
Senvion’s chief executive officer Chris Judd said the Federal Coalition’s intent to cut the target from 41,000gW hours of electricity to come from large-scale renewable sources by 2020 to 26,000gW hours is an “inexplicable” broken promise.
“This is backward thinking that is out of sync with the rest of the world and will leave Australians paying higher bills for a dirtier future,” Mr Judd said.
Calling for a return to bipartisan support, Mr Judd said Australia’s reputation as a safe place to invest now has a big question mark over it.
“We are missing out on billions of capital that is now flowing to countries with stable and supportive policy environments for clean energy,” he said.
Mr Tanti said wind was now globally competitive with coal and Australia should take its cue from the latest UN climate change report.
“As the leading wind energy majors continue to leverage on their technology edge, we have witnessed a reduction in the cost and an increase in reliability. All these developments will surely boost the growth of the global wind industry in the future,” he said.
“The recent IPCC Synthesis Report found it is imperative countries the world over, including Australia, adopt and support renewable energy initiatives so that by 2050, 80 per cent of the world’s electricity could be produced from low-carbon sources such as wind energy.
“This will protect our environment from irreversible damage, a situation that is staring us in the face at the moment.”