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Renewables industry hits out at RET review

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The renewable energy industry has hit out at the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Review Panel and said its recommendations could put 21,000 jobs at risk.

The Courier Mail reports that, according to the Clean Energy Council, if the government were to follow the recommendations, it would put the $10 billion-plus worth of investments already made would be at risk and could even bankrupt the sector.

Among the key recommendations of the review headed by Dick Warburton, are to end new entrants to the RET scheme in a process known as “grandfathering”; and to set targets a year in advance, depending on electricity demand.

“It is inconceivable that the review could objectively recommend slashing the RET when its own economic modelling showed this would lead to higher power bills in the long run, while at the same time smashing billions of dollars of investment,” Clean Energy Council acting chief executive Kane Thornton said.

“The review panel has clearly misunderstood the devastating effect of many of its recommendations.”

Reneweconomy reports that Adelaide-based solar module manufacturer Tindo Solar claimed the recommendations would reward the black coal industry at the expense of the renewables sector.

“On the back of this bipartisan long term policy and in good faith, the founders of Tindo decided to start up what is now Australia’s last remaining solar panel manufacturer ….. Uncertainty is a killer for business. Tindo hopes a response confirming the continuation of the RET unchanged is forthcoming swiftly from the Government inline with its pre-election promises and commitments,” spokesman Richard Inwood, said.

For its part, the Australian Aluminium Council reacted more positively to the review recommendations.

“We welcome the acknowledgement by the Review Panel that the RET impacts electricity prices for trade exposed businesses such as aluminium smelting and alumina refining and that significant adjustments to the scheme are required to reduce its cost burden,” Miles Prosser the Council’s Executive Director said.

As the Land reports, public support for the RET has increased to over 80 per cent in the past 12 months. As such, any attempt to change it at this time would be politically difficult for the government.

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