Australia needs a strong and growing RET, not steps backwards Media Release

Oct 22, 2014 - 5:00pm

The Climate Institute is deeply concerned by the government’s intention to slash the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

“A strong, growing renewable energy industry is vital to decarbonise Australia’s high-carbon power sector and sensibly position Australia’s economy to remain competitive in a world moving to clean energy sources,” said Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute.

“Cutting the RET has the opposite effect: it increases our dependence on ageing, high-carbon coal power stations, sends clean energy investment offshore and delays electricity decarbonisation.”

Research for The Climate Institute, Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF-Australia found that slashing the RET as proposed by the government would result in:

  • $8 billion additional profit to coal and $2 billion to gas generators (net present value of future profits 2015-2030).This includes $2 billion in extra profit for EnergyAustralia, $1.5 billion for Origin and $2.5 billion for AGL. 
  • Additional carbon pollution of about 150 million tonnes to 2030 (equivalent to adding nearly 4 million cars to the road) with additional pollution costs of over $14 billion.
  • Loss of $8 billion in investment in new renewable capacity, with New South Wales and South Australia each standing to lose over $2 billion in foregone investment. 
“Solid bipartisan support for the RET enabled solar and wind energy to triple and jobs in wind and solar to increase by 250 per cent since 2009.”

“Australia’s power sector needs to continue decarbonising over this and coming decades. This requires a return to bipartisan support for a robust and growing RET, complemented by a measure—regulatory or otherwise—to close down ageing, inefficient coal stations,” concluded Jackson.


For more information
Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299
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