The clean energy industry is pleased with progress being made on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) draft legislation, but is requesting further refinement.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said the clean energy industry remained concerned with some aspects of the NEG architecture, along with the level of the Federal Government’s proposed emissions reduction target.

“We believe the policy framework of the NEG could work if the emissions reduction target is substantially increased and a range of other design issues are addressed. These include more frequent reviews of the emissions target and the inclusion of a mechanism that prevents it being cut in the future,” Mr Thornton said.

“We call on the Federal Government and all states and territories to keep cool heads and negotiate in good faith to find a compromise that will provide the long-term investment certainty needed to deliver new clean energy generation.”

The government has agreed to progress the recommendation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to establish a vehicle for government underpinning of offtake agreements to support new low-cost clean energy generation.

“This provision could help to encourage power purchase agreements between businesses and developers of new energy projects. But this intervention in the market will need very careful consideration to ensure it does not end up being twisted to meet a narrow political agenda and damage the investment confidence that is crucial to bringing on new energy generation.

“Clean energy investors will be relieved that the government has not committed to funding new coal-fired power stations. This would have distorted Australia’s energy market, spooking private investors which have just invested a record $10 billion in new clean energy projects across Australia,” Mr Thornton said.

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