Sep 19, 2012 - 9:29am
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) plays an important role in facilitating Australia’s transition to a zero carbon economy. However, repeated reviews and amendments to the scheme have resulted in stop-start industry development. Although the industry has the capacity to meet the target, changes to the scheme risk further delays in investment.
Arbitrarily reducing the target would impose costs, in policy uncertainty and risk, financial impairment of existing investments, and higher fuel and carbon costs. It would also threaten the diversification of Australia’s energy portfolio, necessary in the long term to both energy security and the cost-effective achievement of climate goals.
In this submission to the Climate Change Authority Review of the Renewable Energy Target The Climate Institute makes the following recommendations:
- Future RET reviews should be reduced in frequency and limited in scope. The year 2016 should be the earliest major review and the scope should be narrowed to consideration of post-2020 design issues (e.g. expanding the target post-2020).
- The LRET’s current fixed target of 41,000 GWh should be maintained, and the Climate Change Authority should ensure that the target is not vulnerable to reduction in future reviews.
- The Climate Change Authority should discuss and where possible quantify the long-term costs and benefits on households and other businesses of the RET and the continued exemptions for EITE businesses in the scheme.