O'Farrell abandons election policy and state plan target: NSW ends bipartisan support for 20% renewable energy target

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The O'Farrell Government has ended the longstanding bipartisan support for Australia’s 20 per cent renewable energy target after calling for it to be removed – and abandoning its own State Plan commitment to the target.

The 20 per cent target was formally adopted as O'Farrell Government policy in the NSW 2021 plan, which clearly stated that NSW would 'contribute to the national renewable energy target'.*

"The O'Farrell Government needs to tell the truth about why it has abandoned its support for the 20 per cent renewable energy target," Shadow Energy Minister, Luke Foley said today.

"The decision to abandon the renewable energy target is a continuation of the O'Farrell Government's relentless hostility to renewable energy, and has nothing to do with rising prices.

"This was reinforced by this week's IPART electricity pricing determination, which made it clear green energy schemes had made zero contribution to rising prices this year.

"According to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), new wind energy projects in Victoria facilitated by the renewable energy target will actually deliver lower wholesale electricity price increases than what will be seen in NSW.**

"Renewable energy has a huge role to play in meeting the energy needs of our future, but the O'Farrell Government has run a relentless campaign against it throughout their first year in office.

"The growth of solar on rooftops both domestically and at larger scale should play a part in addressing the spiralling peak demand and attendant network upgrades currently fuelling price hikes.

"Solar in NSW has been stopped dead in its tracks. The draft guidelines for new wind farm developments are designed to chronically handicap the expansion of the wind industry.

"Rather than attacking wind farms, the O'Farrell Government should require its own Planning Review to come up with a sensible and workable planning regime for the development of the wind industry in NSW.

"Mr O'Farrell should stop attacking renewable energy. The NSW Government needs to tell the wind and solar industries that our State is open for business and chase the jobs and investment that clean energy can provide."

*NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One, p44.

**AEMC, Possible Future Retail Electricity Price Movements: 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014, Final Report, p48.