Big boost for renewable energy

CONFIRMATION the Federal Government will remove the legislated reviews of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) should clear the way for a deal to be done and return much-needed investment confidence to the Australian renewable energy sector, the Clean Energy Council said.

Chief executive Kane Thornton said the agreement to remove the review provision was the final major stumbling block for the renewable energy industry.

"I'm confident that a final agreement can now be negotiated which will deliver the necessary bipartisan support for the RET, restoring stability to the policy and allowing the industry to meet the revised target," he said.

"It has been a tough 15 months, but this development will be a huge weight off the shoulders of the 20,000 people working in the industry. It will also help to unlock Australia's massive renewable energy potential.

"I would like to thank the major parties for their flexibility and their willingness to work together in search of an outcome that will allow the renewable energy industry to deliver significant job and investment benefits to the Australian economy.

"This has been a challenging process for all concerned, and we are obviously disappointed with a reduction of the target.

"We remain concerned about the impact of this lower target on the opportunity for emerging technologies like large-scale solar, and will continue to work with both major parties on appropriate policy measures to address this.

"However, bipartisanship is essential to the success of renewable energy and it is only through the commitment of both major parties that we can now move to restore confidence and investment in the renewable energy sector.

Mr Thornton said the Clean Energy Council did not support the proposal to include native forest wood waste unless there was an agreed process to verify it as coming from sustainably managed forests.

"We remain hopeful that the major parties will continue to work through this issue for the good of the tens of thousands of people employed by the renewable energy industry," he said.

"It is important that this in-principle agreement between the two major parties is effectively translated into legislation and that this is passed as quickly as possible, to secure a future for the renewable energy industry.

"After 15 long months, this is now within reach and we look forward to working with both major parties in the coming days to close out this deal."

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