Australia’s energy networks recommend removal of RET to save money

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Uncertainty hit investor certainty in renewables last year. Credit: AGL

A report from Australia’s Energy Networks Association (ENA), the body representing the country's power networks, suggests that removing the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and replacing it with a carbon tax or “technology neutral” alternatives would be a more economical approach to reaching Australia's target of cutting emissions to 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030.

The study, ‘Australia’s Climate Policy Options’, modelled a 'business as usual' approach including the RET, which mandates 33,000GWh of renewbale energy by 2020, in comparison to a model that makes federal and state carbon policies “technology neutral”. A third model also involved introducing a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme and the complete removal of both the RET and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Preliminary findings suggest that a technology neutral scenario or including an explicit carbon price are cheaper options than maintaining current policy with savings of AU$600 million and AU$700 million respectively.

Nevertheless, environment minister, Greg Hunt, immediately dismissed any attempt to alter the RET again, claiming: “The [renewable energy] target is rock solid. We will not be changing it.”

Indecision over the RET, the setting of which was fiercely debated over 14 months until June last year, saw the large-scale renewables industry ground to a halt as investor confidence was hit by a lack of certainty in the sector.

A recent report from analyst firm Green Energy Markets also found that tampering with the RET by Australia’s Federal Coalition government had made project financing extremely difficult.

Referring to the ENA report, John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council, said: “Having failed to have the RET abolished, the big power companies are again trying to create investment uncertainty.”

Grimes said the report is calling for the RET to be abolished and replaced with a policy that subsidises gas and renewables, adding: “We all know the damage the big power companies, the vested interests and the Abbott Government did to the solar and renewables industry. We will not let that happen again.”

Read Next

May 11, 2021
The clean energy council has slammed the Australian government’s latest federal budget as “disappointing” for not placing more onus on expanding the country’s renewable energy capacity.
May 5, 2021
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has selected three commercial-scale green hydrogen projects that will share in AU$103 million (US$79.7 million) of funding to support their development.
May 4, 2021
Canada-based renewables company Amp Energy will a develop portfolio of large-scale PV projects and battery energy storage systems as part of an AU$2 billion (US$1.55 billion) hub in South Australia.
April 21, 2021
Australia’s airports have untapped potential to aid the country’s transition to renewable energy, according to a report from researchers at Melbourne’s RMIT University.
April 20, 2021
A solar- and wind-powered green hydrogen plant in Western Australia has secured the backing of France-based independent power producer Total Eren.
April 19, 2021
Photon Energy has reached more than 420MWp of PV projects under development, as the Netherlands-based renewables company weathered the impacts of COVID-19 on its financial performance last year.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
May 26, 2021
Session 1 - 7:00 AM (BST) | Session 2 - 5:00 PM (BST)
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021
Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021