The Victorian Government’s renewable energy auction announcement today is a major step forward for communities, businesses and the state’s renewable energy industry, the Clean Energy Council said.

The Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) scheme has set targets to source 25% of Victoria’s power from renewable energy by 2020 and 40% by 2025.

The government will introduce legislation committing to these future targets, providing confidence for the renewable energy industry to invest in the jobs and supply chain over the long term.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said more power generation is required following the retirement of the Hazelwood coal-fired power plant, and today’s announcement will turbo charge significant private investment in low cost renewable energy to fill the gap and bring power prices down.

“The state government is showing strong leadership through its Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) scheme, which will boost investment and jobs,” Thornton said.

“The renewable energy projects committed in Victoria this year add up to 685MW of capacity, more than 530 jobs and $1.2 billion worth of investment. Today’s announcement means these figures will grow exponentially and put Victoria in a leading position to accelerate investment and job creation, at a time when interstate competition for projects is steadily increasing,” he said.

The auction round announced today is the largest renewable reverse energy auction program to date in Australia, building on the success of the ACT Government’s program.

“This is a significant addition to the Victorian Government’s clean energy commitments to date, which include solar trams, solar schools, an energy storage initiative and a renewable energy certificate purchasing initiative,” Thornton said.