Australian ministerial changes welcomed by solar council

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The removal of Tony Abbott from his premiership along with the arrival of Malcolm Turnbull as the new prime minister of Australia and various government appointments related to renewable energy have been welcomed by the Australian Solar Council.

John Grimes, Australian Solar Council chief executive, welcomed the appointment of Josh Frydenberg as minister for resources, energy and Northern Australia, along with Christopher Pyne as minister for industry, innovation and science. Grimes said Pyne’s is a critical portfolio for the solar industry.

Greg Hunt remains as environment minister, with added responsibility in the renewable energy sector, according to Grimes. Hunt is now also responsible for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which together put forward AU$350 million (US$249 million) funding for large-scale solar in the country earlier this month.

Grimes described each of these ministerial decisions as “positive developments”.

Meanwhile he also expressed his encouragement from the language used by Turnbull, Hunt and Frydenburg emphasising support for renewable energy and highlighting the importance of innovation in driving economic growth.

Under Abbott's lead, Australia's Renewable Energy Target (RET) was delayed for 16 months, stunting investment in the solar sector and cauging uncertainty for the industry.

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