New energy plan to boost state’s economy

Image credit: flickr user: Amir S.

The Victorian Coalition Government has released a new energy plan to make sure Victoria has the safe, reliable and affordable energy needed to underpin the state’s economy and liveability.

Image credit: flickr user: Amir S.
Image credit: flickr user: Amir S.

According to the Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe, Victoria’s Energy Statement – which was developed  with assistance from an external reference group representing consumers, retailers, generators, the clean energy sector and investors – sets out the Napthine Government’s policy direction for dealing with rapid change in the energy sector.

“The Coalition Government is setting out a strong plan to ensure all Victorians continue to have access to the safe, affordable and reliable energy that underpins not just our economy but our way of life. The energy sector is undergoing rapid change with falling demand, greater uptake of renewable energy and the rapid rise of rooftop solar,” Mr Northe said.

“More than 200,000 photovoltaic units are now being used in Victoria – twice as many as when we came to government – and take up remains strong among householders and businesses. We need a strong plan for the future to make sure Victoria is ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead and to take full advantage of the opportunities. This plan sets out how we will deliver a more efficient energy system that is better regulated, with empowered consumers reaping the full benefits of a more competitive market.”

Mr Northe said the Victoria’s Energy Statement encompassed a string of government actions, including launching a public review of the retail energy market, empowering Victorian energy consumers to take charge of their bills and make informed choices about energy, advocating for further regulatory reforms, opening up business energy connections to competition, pushing for a more effective and competitive east coast natural gas market and investing in technological innovation.

He said the Energy Statement would see the Government build on its strong achievements in the energy sector to date.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has also been working hard to make our power network safer through the $750 million Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, we have invested millions in sustainable energy research and we have made grants to encourage the new smarter and cleaner uses of our brown coal,” Mr Northe said.

“We have spent $42 million on sustainable energy initiatives in this term of government. Renewable energy now makes up 12% of Victoria’s energy generation, 5% more than four years ago. The Energy Statement is all about building on these achievements to make sure we have an energy sector that contributes to keeping our economy strong and delivering the affordable power that is so critical to building a better Victoria.”