Claiming RET has been expensive – costing $9.4 billion in cross-subsidies to the renewables sector from 2001-2013 and a predicted further $15 billion up to 2020 (in current terms) – the Warburton report has suggested closing it to new entrants or approving new renewable energy projects only when electricity demand increases.
It also argues that renewables were on track to make up a needlessly large share, 26 per cent, of electricity generation by 2020.
Warburton has been criticised as the choice to the head of the review for holding “climate sceptic” views. He is a former chair of Manufacturing Australia, which was formed by businesses to lobby against the former carbon tax.
Fairfax reports that the Clean Energy Council believes the recommendations would end the renewable energy industry’s future in Australia, costing thousands of jobs.
The federal government is expected to respond to the Warburton report in at least two weeks. It backed the previous RET of 20 per cent of power being generated by renewable sources by 2020 leading up to the election, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott is critical of the target.
“The renewable energy target is very significantly driving up power prices,” said Abbott earlier this year.