Tony Abbott has warned of a “massive overbuild of wind farms” following the Labor national conference’s “truly bizarre” commitment to lift Australia’s renewable energy consumption to 50 per cent by 2030.
The Prime Minister, in his first public comments following the weekend conference, today predicted the enhanced renewable energy target would cost consumers “perhaps $60 billion or more” even without the impost of Labor’s floating carbon price.
Mr Abbott conceded renewables played “an important part” in Australia’s energy mix but the government’s target of 23 per cent by 2020 was “more than enough”.
“The truly bizarre decision … constitutes a massive absolutely massive hit on consumers and on jobs because to move to 50 per cent renewables by 2030 will mean a massive bill, perhaps $60 billion or more, that will have to be carried by the consumers of Australia,” he said.
“Then you’ve got this massive and unnecessary commitment to renewables which will cause a massive overbuild of wind farms, all of which has to be paid for by the consumers.”
Mr Abbott has criticised wind farms as “visually awful”, “noisy” and potentially damaging to health.
Liberal MP Sarah Henderson is urging her colleagues to revoke an instruction to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to cease investing in wind technology, claiming her regional Victorian constituents are “extremely supportive” of renewables.
“It’s very important not to exclude small-scale solar and also wind, because there are new and emerging technologies in these sectors as well,” the Corangamite MP told ABC Radio today.
Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler said Ms Henderson was reflecting the views across many government seats.
“Tony Abbott is just so blinded by his own hatred for renewable energy that he’s unable to see the damage his attack is doing to the margins of his backbenchers,” Mr Butler said.
“But every Liberal MP is part of the problem – they represent a government that has done nothing but attack renewable energy and risk jobs and investment.”