THE news that more than 2000 jobs have been lost in the renewable energy sector highlights what happens when ideology is put above the good of the nation.
Here in central Victoria we have already felt the negative impacts of this approach to developing policy, when the previous state Coalition government created large No Go Zones for wind energy, effectively stopping the development of the industry across the state.
The beauty of renewable energy is that it shares jobs and investment around regions, provides drought proof income to farmers who host wind turbines, and is an essential part of the transition towards low carbon energy.
The current Renewable Energy Target that requires 20 per cent of Australia’s energy to come from renewable energy sources is only the start of the required transition if we are to play our part in the global efforts to limit the effects of climate change.
The fact that many business groups have agreed to accept a compromise underscores how desperate the situation is, as jobs and investment are lost because of the prolonged uncertainty about what will happen to the target.
Yet the federal government still refuses to budge from its very low offer of a new RET.
This seems to show that the personal opposition to renewables of a number of key Coalition MPs is overriding the need for certainty.
The government would be wise to remember that opinion polling shows a clear majority of people want to see more renewable energy, not less.
They need to swallow their pride and come to the negotiating table as a matter of urgency.
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