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The Victorian Government has introduced legislation that sets ambitious new renewable energy targets for the state in an effort to drive down prices, attract billions of dollars of investment and create thousands of local jobs.

Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET) sets a state target of  25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.

It’s the first time such ambitious renewable energy targets have been enshrined in state legislation anywhere in Australia.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “The renewable energy sector will now have the confidence to invest in renewable energy projects and the jobs that are crucial to Victoria’s future.

“Government investment will be capped to ensure the best value for money for Victorian taxpayers.”

Importantly, the VRET is expected to cut the average cost of power for Victorians by around $30 a year for households, $2,500 a year for medium businesses and $140,000 a year for large companies, while driving a 16 per cent reduction in Victoria’s electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2034-35.

VRET also includes a competitive auction for up to 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity which will provide enough electricity to power 389,000 households – or enough  energy to power Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined.

This first auction is expected to bring forward up to $1.3 billion of investment and create 1,250 construction jobs over two years and 90 ongoing jobs.

The Victorian Government also the tender to  tender to help build around 138MW of new large-scale solar projects to power Melbourne’s tram network.

Bannerton Solar Park near Robinvale in the Sunraysia district is expected to provide 100MW of solar powered electricity, while the Numurkah Solar Farm near Shepparton is expected to generate 38MW.

This will bring forward an additional investment of $198 million and generate around 325 jobs in regional Victoria during construction.

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