The Clean Energy Council says that the announcement of six renewable energy zones (REZs) and funding to boost the sector’s workforce capability represents a landmark budget for the state of Victoria.
Clean energy is a clear winner in this year’s Victorian Budget, with $1.6 billion in targeted funding. The announcements build on pre-Budget announcements last week offering additional rebates for rooftop solar and batteries. The Budget also supports the emerging renewable hydrogen industry and the development of offshore wind to the tune of $108 million.
Grid matters have been the most challenging issue in Victoria for large-scale renewable energy developments, as is evident from recent experiences in the West Murray Zone.
“REZs would allow for the efficient development of much-needed transmission infrastructure in a way that benefits generators, local communities and Victorian consumers,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
“Earlier this month, the Australian Energy Market Operator announced it would produce a REZ Development Plan for Victoria. This is a welcome development to understand the optimal transmission build for the state.”
The government is also investing $10 million into ensuring that the Victorian renewable energy industry is supported by a strong and skilled workforce, through the establishment of an independent expert taskforce, the development of an industry-wide workforce strategy for Victorian clean energy, and grants to expand and support the state’s renewable energy education and training capacity.
“We welcome this as an important recognition of the current and future role that the clean energy sector plays in providing meaningful employment across Victoria,” said Thornton. “It is also an encouraging example of the need for governments, education and training institutions and industry players to work together to improve employment outcomes and help rebuild the economy post-COVID-19.”