Australia's Clean Energy Council (CEC) called on federal, state and territory governments on Monday to make renewable energy and energy storage a key part of their COVID-19 response packages to both stimulate the Australian economy and protect households and businesses from high electricity costs.
The Australian body declared that COVID-19 is an unprecedented global event that is set to have an enormous impact on businesses and households around Australia, the extent of which everyone is still coming to grips with.
To stimulate economic recovery, the CEC says the clean energy industry has an important role to play and suggested that governments around Australia adopt several initiatives and stimulus packages.
These initiatives includes direct funding for the installation of solar on public housing and low-income rental housing because solar will reduce the electricity bills of people who need the most support, and quickly employ a large number of electricians and tradespeople to do so.
Secondly, the CEC recommends that governments roll out solar and storage backup for all critical state infrastructures such as schools, childcare facilities, police facilities, fire stations, other government buildings, and for telecommunications.
"The Clean Energy Council welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to increase the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020," the CEC said.
In addition, it suggested the Federal Government stimulate jobs and growth with a new rebate for solar batteries for homes and businesses.
Lastly, the CEC advised that governments accelerate and increase funding for the installation of microgrids, stand-alone power systems, community batteries and other programs for bushfire recovery and to build resilience for future summers.
Adopting these initiatives will help to save jobs in the renewable energy industry, boost the economy and reduce energy costs for consumers, the CEC argued.
"The economic response to COVID-19 provides a golden opportunity for governments to accelerate such plans, providing much needed stimulus to the economy while simultaneously accelerating the move to a cheaper, more reliable energy system," it said.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu