Tireless champion in an uphill fight
When an agreement over the renewable energy target (RET) achieved cross-party consensus in 2015, it finally appeared that Australia had opened the floodgates to renewable sources of energy.
What had not been expected — though it should have been, in hindsight — was the fervent resistance of the fossil-fuel industry, which ultimately toppled the prime minister, Malcom Turnbull, and led to the watered-down national energy guarantee (NEG) in place of the RET, swiftly dropped by his successor.
Thornton, no stranger to the feeling of banging his head on a brick wall, branded the federal energy policy of being "in chaos".
Thornton’s support for the country’s wind industry will remain vital as it moves into a new decade with no support framework for renewables in place.
The CEC has helped launch a new centre for promoting corporate power purchase agreement, which at least offers one route to market for wind developers.