Regulation 'stifling' Australia's renewable energy
Australia is missing out on the global renewable energy boom because the Canberra government has not developed a plan diverse enough to meet its own targets, charges a leading international specialist lawyer.
Stephen Webb, a partner in the Brisbane office of Anglo-US global law firm DLA Piper, told Australian Legal Business Online that the government’s targets for 2020 renewable energy use contain no provisions for the type of energy that is used or how much of the target can be fulfilled by one type of energy.
‘The only way to make these [renewable energy] projects economically viable is by creating a regulatory environment where the retailers have to buy energy from certain renewable sectors,’ said Mr Webb. ‘We need to have regulatory intervention in the market, whereby the government directs the retailers to not only hit the 2020 targets for renewable power, but also that they must do that in a wider context including solar, wave, biomass as well as wind.’
Mr Webb – who has previously worked on renewable energy projects overseas, including in Abu Dhabi – added that Australia is ‘very disappointing on a global scale’, commenting: ‘There are many international solar companies looking at Australia for some time, as a result of our environment, but they have been frustrated with the lack of projects in the market. There have not been any large scale solar projects in Australia; only a medium sized one in Western Australia.’