Three minutes on: Climate policy review

Three minutes on: Climate policy review

In this series, ‘Three minutes on,’ we respond to what people are talking about on any given day. Today we hear from Solgen Energy Group Executive CEO David Brown on the Federal Government’s climate policy review.

– David Brown

Full disclosure: we are solar focused. We want everyone, collectively, to focus on a long-term solution and solar energy has a strong part to play.

Last month we saw the government support the Paris Agreement which holds the country to implement national policies to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change from 2020. Great start. Now Australia is in a very good position to maintain this commitment but in order to uphold our good standing we need strong, transitional policies.

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg announced the government’s terms of reference for the review last week and we are avid supporters of what is set to be a transformative year for renewables.

The solar industry is growing and becoming a more significant part of the renewable industry – not only are solar prices reducing but the componentry is becoming more efficient and reliable, attracting long warranties of up to 25 years – this qualifies us for a bigger voice moving forward and we should use that voice to be part of the solution.

We would like to see some connectivity and alignment between state and national energy strategies. The risk I see is that states and territories have filled the void and become vulnerable without a national plan. Take South Australia for example – they are at the forefront of renewables in this country – one event and they were hung out to dry. Although it has been proven that renewables were not to blame, that was the instinctive reaction of many doubters. If we worked towards an alignment between the state and territory energy plans, (and we have the collective capabilities and resources within our industry to support this) we would avoid this issue moving forward.

It is time to look to the future and 2017 needs to be the year we create solid plans for that future.
Again, this review should be the priority for our industry; aligning towards a comprehensive long-term, transitional strategy.

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