The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Calls to Cut Australia's 20 Percent Renewable Energy Target Rejected

An independent body set up to consider Australia's official target of generating 20 percent of its energy needs by 2020 from renewable sources has rejected calls from incumbent utilities and heavy industry to scale back the target.

In its first major publication since its inception in July, the Climate Change Authority (CCA) on Friday said altering the target would harm investor confidence. It recommends that the fixed large-scale RET target of 41,000 GWh per annum remains unchanged, and its full recommendations were included in a 150-page discussion paper as part of a wider review of the RET by the authority, which is due to be finished in December.

The RET, which enjoys support from both the ruling Labor Party and the opposition Liberal-National Coalition, met significant opposition from companies such as utilities Origin Energy and Energy Australia and the Business Council of Australia. Opponents wanted the set target cut because it would overshoot, resulting in higher industry costs. 

“The challenge is to strike a reasonable balance between encouraging further investment in renewable energy — leading to ongoing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions — and the costs to the scheme to households and business consumers of electricity," said CCA chairman Bernie Fraser.

Australia’s renewable energy industry congratulated the authority for recognising the importance of policy stability, saying it had understood the key issues confronting the industry.

“Retaining a fixed target as drafted in the legislation is the best outcome for companies and investors who are looking at renewable energy projects between now and the end of the decade,” said CEC deputy chief executive Kane Thornton.

“Every review of this policy has shown that the RET is the most efficient, low-cost and effective way to deliver what Australians consistently say they want - more clean energy. But every review has also stifled investment and created uncertainty due to the prospect of serious policy changes,” he added.

A report released prior to the CCA discussion paper by the CEC and economists SKM MMA found that Australia’s economy stood to gain an additional A$18.7 billion ($19.4 billion) in investment under the RET.

“The renewable energy target has been an extraordinary success and must be maintained,” said John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council. “It will help build many Big Solar plants in Australia over the next decade."

The CCA also recommended the RET be reviewed every four years, rather than every two years, to ensure certainty for investors.

This decision should pave the way for some 8 GW of wind farm developments and up to 3 GW of large scale solar over the next eight years.

Climate change minister Greg Combet said Australia’s policies to lower emissions and promote renewable energy may drive investment of A$100 billion ($104 billion) in the next four decades.

The government has set a price of A$23 ($23.8) per metric ton on carbon emissions for about 300 of its largest polluters for the year that started on 1 July, with a market-based system scheduled to begin in 2015.

Steady renewable energy targets and linkages to complementary polices, such as greenhouse gas reduction measures, has reinforced investor confidence in countries such as Germany, and as a result has successfully driven sustainable renewable energy growth and cost reduction.

Lead image: Rejected stamp via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

With Vast Amounts of Geothermal, Wind and Hydropower, Why No Solar In New Zealand?

James Ellsmoor, Contributor New Zealand has built an international brand on environmentalism and the great outdoors. So it is unsurprising that t...

GE low wind turbines make debut in France

Kelvin Ross

A new wind farm in France will be the first in the country to deploy GE’s 2.75-120 wind turbines.

Unlikely Allies in North Carolina Clean-Energy Fight

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg With North Carolina’s renewable energy mandate under assault from Republican legislators, green groups seeking to sav...

PRESS RELEASES

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

OFS Announces Commercial Availability of InvisiLight® MDU Optical Solution for Multiple Dwelling Units

OFS, a leading-edge designer, manufacturer and supplier of innovative fiber optic netwo...

New local energy partnership brings innovative solar tracker to Washington State

A new partnership will bring the innovative AllEarth Solar Tracker solar electric syste...

30 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 30 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospect that owns or manages a building with high ...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Independent journalist with a background in sustainable business and ethical finance, the renewable and low-emission energy sectors, climate-change science and policy and the not-for-profit sector.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

COMPANY BLOGS

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

Captivology

One of the biggest challenges we face as efficiency sales professionals ...

How To Optimize Your Meeting Schedule

Do you spend more time in meetings than you do actually working? While m...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS