Clean Energy Council insists solar energy is essential

By Allen Jack

The Australian Clean Energy Council has released a statement insisting that solar energy be recognised as essential in light of COVID-19 restrictions.

This declaration comes following the Government of Australia’s update regarding the measures it is taking to protect society from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The update, which provides details restrictions and liberties on each industry sector, including food, retail and residential services, does not specifically mention solar PV (photovoltaic) panel installation, but has been sufficient to cause concern. 

Not a niche industry

Highlighting that the clean energy sector has, like so many others, been actively preparing for the straits imposed by the pandemic, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) insists that it has taken the necessary precautions to protect workers and the public.

“The safety of our workforce is paramount,” emphasised the press release. “A wide variety of extensive measures have been taken and will continue to be put in place to identify, mitigate and minimise health risks to our workforce and to the public.”


As such, the CEC argues that no further government update need include renewable energy companies on lists of ‘non-essential’ services. 

On the contrary, it states that, since 20% of the country’s energy requirement is fulfilled by clean energy, such companies are vital to the maintenance of business continuity. 

“Clean energy [...] is both an essential service and a critical part of the economy, particularly in regional and rural areas of the country. It is vital that these projects and systems can continue to operate flexibly and safely during this crisis.”

A country embracing renewable energy

Indeed, recent activities in the Australian energy sector apparently validate the CEC’s claims:

The Government of New South Wales recently formulated its ‘Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030’, which will see A$11.6bn of investment for region and create 2,400 new jobs.

Also, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced that it will be providing $3mn in funding for a green energy project with RayGen Resources.

The importance of clean energy is clearly not lost on authorities, yet the coronavirus’ deleterious effect on world economies has been startling and concerning. That the CEC should seek further clarification on the matter should, therefore, not be entirely surprising.

For more information on business topics in ANZ, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief ANZ.

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