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Call for election focus on energy overhaul

A rapid transition to renewable energy should be an election priority, a group of clean energy powerbrokers say.

The Clean Energy Council on Tuesday released a policy road map and called for a short-term 2030 target to drive immediate investment.

“The signals coming from the private sector indicate the federal government’s latest policy statements on net-zero emissions are not enough,” Clean Energy Council head Kane Thornton said.

The Morrison government has a long-term plan to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 while preserving jobs and generating new opportunities for industries and regional Australia.

Mr Thornton said an electricity grid powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 would deliver emissions reductions of 44.5 per cent from 2005 levels, as well as jobs, investment and growth.

“This is just below the global average of 45 per cent – it’s not an ambitious or difficult target – it’s the low-hanging fruit.”

Key players will face off at a webinar on Tuesday, including former prime minster Malcolm Turnbull, in a vital battleground for the federal election that must take place by May.

Assistant Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson, Labor climate and energy spokesman Chris Bowen, Greens Leader Adam Bandt and Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines will also be part of the industry-led panel.

Clean Energy Council’s nine-point plan:

*Electrify the Australian economy and industry with wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy and battery storage.

*Support customers and communities to make the switch to clean energy.

*Build a strong, smart, 21st-century electricity network.

*Create quality clean energy jobs and a local supply chain.

*Support coal communities and industry as the phase-out of coal generation accelerates.

*Modernise the energy market and its governance for the energy transformation.

*Turbo-charge clean energy innovation.

*Decarbonise Australian industries using clean energy.

*Become a global clean energy superpower exporting renewable energy to Asia and beyond.

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