Australian news, and some related international items

Western Australian election: is Clive Palmer’s Party FOR or AGAINST the Renewable Energy Target?

ballot-boxRET And PUP – Confusion (Still) Reigns  The Palmer United Party (PUP) still appears not to have a solid stance on the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET).

PUP’s WA candidate, Zhenya ‘Dio’ Wang, recently expressed support for the Renewable Energy Target to be left as is and Clive Palmer appeared to indicate the same view. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Palmer clarified; stating it perhaps shouldn’t be a “mandatory thing”.

Nearly 2 weeks later and it seems there still isn’t a unified position at PUP.

According to the Guardian, a PUP spokesman told the publication on Monday “the policy is what Clive says; the target has to be voluntary”. However, when Mr. Wang was again asked about when asked about the RET policy on Monday; he told Guardian Australia, “We are still discussing our policy. We are working out what it is.”

With voters set to go to the polls in Western Australia this Saturday, the mixed signals from PUP wouldn’t be very encouraging for solar supporters considering the party – and the outcome of WA’s election could have major implications nationally for renewable energy.

According to the Australian Solar Council, 500,000 WA residents live in solar households and hundreds of thousands more will go solar if the RET is left as is; something that is in doubt due to the Federal Government’s RET review.

“By putting barriers up for 350,000 people in WA who want to install solar on their homes and slashing large-scale solar projects back from the current path of 700 MW, the Federal government looks set to break a key election promise,” says Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes.

Mr. Grimes says Western Australian householders and small businesses will invest their own money to build 445 megawatts of generating capacity if the RET is retained for rooftop PV systems and hot water. With regard to large-scale solar, the existing RET could deliver more than 700 MW of projects in WA, employing an additional 7,000 people during the construction phase between now and 2020.

With solar so popular in the state; the parties that clearly support the RET in its current form may have a bit of an edge this Saturday.

April 1, 2014 - Posted by | politics, Western Australia

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