‘All Energy Australia’ in Melbourne urges federal government to hike investment in renewable energy

By @diplomatist10 on
An employee walks on solar panels at a solar power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region May 18, 2012.
An employee walks on solar panels at a solar power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region May 18, 2012. Reuters/Stringer

All-Energy Australia’s conference and exhibition held in Melbourne on Oct. 7 and 8 drew a huge turnout and the event concluded with a clarion call to Australia to catch up with the rest of the world by increasing the investment in the renewable energy sector.

The keynote of Chairman for the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben was significant. He urged Australian policy makers to “wake up early enough” and encourage the industry to stay optimistic and remember that “we have the future in our hands in a way that no one has ever had before.”

More investment

Lord Deben was the U.K.’s longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment. His speech was followed by comments from Shadow Minister for Energy & Resources, Innovation and Renewables David Southwick MP, who also supported more government-investment to foster an environment where “customers put their hands up for the renewables driven market.”

The All-Energy Australia conference is one of the most important events on the Australian renewable energy industry’s calendar. The event had concurrent sessions that ran in tandem with an exhibition by more than 100 exhibitors, who presented renewable and clean energy, sustainable transport and energy efficiency solutions.

Shorten’s speech

Addressing the event, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten said Australia was an energy superpower with so much renewable resources at its command to power “five hundred times over.” But he regretted that the country is trailing behind in the renewables’ revolution due to the impasse over Renewable Energy Target.

Making international comparisons, Shorten noted that in 2014, clean energy investment grew 8 percent in the United States, 12 percent in Japan and 35 percent in China. But in Australia, the investment in large scale renewables dropped 88 percent. However, Shorten agreed that the situation is changing and sunny days are ahead for the sector.

“Like you, I welcome the fact that the Liberal leadership no longer see wind turbines as a horrifying blight on the landscape; a creeping menace lurking on the horizon,” the Labor leader said.

Shorten said solar power will dominate Australia’s clean energy revolution and battery storage will also gain traction. “Morgan Stanley has found that the solar and battery storage market could grow to 2.4 million Australian homes,” Shorten added.

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