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Turnbull’s misgivings on renewables overlook economic and financial realities

Thomas Clarke writes in The Conversation (11.10.16) about the Turnbull Government’s seeming antipathy towards the renewable energy sector, amid news that an independent panel will advise government on national energy policy goals.

‘The key breakthrough in the COAG Energy Council meeting last week was the recognition of the need to integrate climate policy and energy policy.

‘This has the potential to establish a coherent national energy policy for Australia and to fix on firm national targets on emissions reductions to meet Australia’s commitments to the Paris climate change agreement.

‘The independent panel chaired by chief scientist Alan Finkel will begin this work with a plan to ensure security of energy supply as more renewable energy comes into the grid, and more coal fired power stations close.

‘Despite Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s misgivings about the “aggressive” renewable energy targets of South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, renewable energy could be considered a central part of his innovation “ideas boom”.

‘As former US Vice President Al Gore has said, the US$391 billion invested in 2014 in clean energy and low carbon development makes it “the biggest new business opportunity in the history of the world”.’

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