Media release: 7 September 2012
The failure of draft Renewable Energy Action Plan to call off the O'Farrell government's war on rooftop solar and wind power locks NSW into a coal-fired future with jobs and investment set to continue to haemorrhage out of the state, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "This plan has no hope of achieving 20 percent of the state's generation from renewables by 2020.
"The goal is realistic but the plan is a dud. Without a commitment to lowering the barriers that are stunting wind and solar investment, cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and the tens of thousands of new jobs will be nothing but a pipedream.
"Rooftop solar has no future under the Action Plan. It locks in the same set of instructions to the independent regulator that led to absurdly low buy-back prices that are driving away household investors and strangling the industry.
"Despite trumpeting wind generation as the front line technology to meet the renewable energy target, the Action Plan endorses the Planning Minister Brad Hazzard's draconian development guidelines that will see investors seek refuge in South Australia.
"The failure to reverse the O'Farrell government's policy hostility to wind and solar will turn the promised 6,000 new jobs into nothing more than a fantasy.
"Dumping the draft wind planning guidelines alone would create 4,000 new jobs while setting a sustainable and affordable feed-in tariff could return the rooftop solar industry to its peak employment of 5,400.
"This is a plan for more of the same. It locks NSW into rising greenhouse gas emissions and falling employment in the energy sector. The opportunity to forge a new direction has been sacrificed to appease the fossil fuel industry.
"Parliamentary Secretary Rob Stokes worked hard to produce a new deal for renewables. It's clear that he was badly undermined by his Minister Chris Hartcher and the fossil fuel lobby who want clean energy technology to remain a boutique industry that does not interfere with their profits," Dr Kaye said.
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