THE Victorian Government last week announced the release of its Renewable Energy Action Plan, which outlines the steps the State Government is taking to encourage investment in the energy sector and ensure the community continues to benefit from a renewable, affordable and reliable energy system into the future.
The Action Plan invests $146 million across three focus areas: 1) Supporting sector growth; 2) Empowering communities and consumers; and 3) Modernising the state's energy system. Key initiatives of the plan include:
- $48.1 million for renewable energy certificate purchasing, including powering Victoria's tram fleet. This has also brought forward the development of two new wind farms totalling 100MW and a new 75MW solar farm;
- $15.8 million for smart software system, solar and battery storage microgrid initiatives across the state; and
- $25 million to deploy grid-scale battery storage facilities in the west of Victoria by Summer 2018.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D'Ambrosio, described the funding as the most significant government investment in renewable energy in Victoria's history.
"We need to ensure that the new energy technology sector is equipped to create jobs, attract investment and grow the economy for the benefit of all Victorians – and we're doing just that," Ms D'Ambrosio said.
The Action Plan follows the release of the Renewable Energy Roadmap in August 2015, and other commitments and initiatives, including renewable energy generation targets of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, the establishment of three pilot community power hubs in the Latrobe Valley, Ballarat and Bendigo, and the creation of the Centre for New Energy Technologies.
More information is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/about-energy/victorias-renewable-energy-action-plan>.