In an unlikely move, the Federal Cabinet of Australia has slashed its renewable energy target. The 20 percent target is supposedly for Australia’s combined renewable resources from wind and solar by 2020.
This is in response to the growing unrest in the Labour sector as the demand for energy has decreased which directly affects the job market.
The 20 percent target was set at a time where the projected usage is 41,000 gigawatt hours of energy. Today, however, the demand for energy has slowly diverted to renewable energy sources leaving a huge variance in the estimated consumption. This tipped off the country’s labour scale as many will be left with no jobs should the decrease continue.
As it seems, the chopping block lean more on economic figures rather than long-term sustainability. For months, two of the country’s major parties come head to head in negotiating the percentage to be chunked off from the said target. The Labour which used to support a significantly higher target percentage had bestowed its intention to cut back at least 33,000 gigawatt hours.
On the other hand, the Coalition has proposed a much lower number but based on the latest updates, an agreement was reached by both parties with the Abbott government agreeing to Labour’s figure as per approval set by the Industry and Environment Ministers. This virtually ends the year-long political deadlock that seems to dampen development in the market’s renewable energy sector.
A palpable stalling is quite evident in the renewable energy market in the past months as the Abbott government review for the said bipartisan target was headed by a renowned climate skeptic, Dick Warburton. With the recent agreement, however, the environmental spokesperson of the Labour coalition has expressed a sense of optimism in the continued collaborative efforts with the government as the country inches to a more sustainable energy development. Mr. Butler further retorted that for the industry to continually move at a steady pace, a final target must be reached.
According to Butler, a deal at 33,000 gigawatt hours will almost double the pre-existing wind power source in the country between today onwards to 2020. He also stated further that if such is the case, the country can expect 25 percent of its electricity will be sourced out to renewable energy sources in 2020.
Much of the controversy when it comes to renewable energy target emanates from the blatant support of PM Tony Abbott to coal generated power systems in the country. It is publicly known that the leadership is not keen to believe the implication of global warming as a clear indication to divert resources to sustainable means. A tiff with UN’s environmental sustainability committee with regards to the country’s continued coal exportation did not sit well with the current leadership. With this recent development, however, a seismic shift must have caused the government to give due consideration to the environmental and economic concerns at hand. Butler promised that Labour will look forward to an ambitious future should he be elected