NATIONAL: The Federal Parliament has united to deliver sweeping reforms which will drive Australia’s renewable energy target of 20 per cent of stationary generation by 2020.

The passage of the Gillard government’s enhanced Renewable Energy Target (eRET) legislation today marks the biggest climate change reform in Australia’s history with the support and input from the coalition, the Greens and independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the welcome reforms would unlock more than $20 billion in investment in major generation projects while creating a stable growth path for household scale technologies like solar hot water and solar PV panels.

“It is rewarding to see all sides of politics come together to deliver and enhance these important reforms that will underpin the creation of a world-class Australianclean energy industry this century,” he said.

“This completes a first important step forward in decarbonising energy in Australia.  It’s now important for the industry get on with the job.”

The eRET legislation will split support for small and large scale renewable technologies into two separate schemes, ensuring the rapid growth in deploy of household schemes does not slow down multi-million dollar investment in industrial scale generation projects.

“Australia has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world and should be a world leader in this space. These changes to the renewable energy target will help us get us there,” Mr Warren said.

“These reforms will deliver new jobs and investment in regional Australia, crucial new generation capacity and drive reforms and improvements in networks and the rules by which they are built.”

Mr Warren said the reforms would not have been possible without the hard work of Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, her department and the support of Shadow Energy Minister Ian Macfarlane.

The eRET is estimated to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions by around 380 million tonnes and deliver 45,000 gigawatts of clean energy generation by 2020.