Australia’s Renewable Energy Target is under review, which could lead the Government to reduce or even abolish it.
This would be a step backwards. The RET drives new renewable electricity generation, replacing high-polluting fossil fuels. Since it was introduced, the scheme has delivered $18 billion in investment and created thousands of jobs. Reducing the target is likely to increase coal-fired power generation and greenhouse gas emissions and undermine the nation's clean energy industry.
This page is updated weekly. It contains reports, factsheets, infographics and other content addressing key points around the RET and its review.
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What is the Renewable Energy Target?
The RET is a bipartisan policy designed to reduce carbon pollution from the electricity sector and build Australia’s renewable energy industry. The target is working: it has helped grow solar and wind energy triple since 2009, led to some $18 billion in investment, and grown jobs in renewable energy by 250 per cent.
Why is the RET under threat?
The Abbott Government is reviewing the RET, with a decision as to whether to maintain it, reduce it, or abolish it altogether due in September 2014. Several power companies and industry associations have called for the target to be reduced or abolished.
Who really benefits from changes to the RET?
Independent modelling has found that the winners from a reduction in the RET would be the owners of coal and gas power stations. Coal generators would make an extra $8 billion profit, gas an extra $2 billion. But this comes at the cost to the community of 150 million tonnes more carbon pollution, $8 billion in lost renewable energy investment and no reduction in power bills – in fact, bills could increase slightly.
For a breakdown of what investment would be lost state-by-state, download the factsheet here.
What are the main criticisms of the RET and are they accurate?
Critics of the RET have put forward a few reasons as to why it should be reduced or abolished. Below are factsheets addressing key arguments. Click on the link to access each factsheet.
What else is being said about the RET?
Nationwide polling conducted in May 2014 found that 71 per cent of Australians want the RET to be kept at its current level or increased. See results of that polling here.
Clean energy jobs are popular with Australians. Watch this VoxPop video on what people see as the jobs of the future.
How do voters in your state compare?
Click images below to download these other infographics:
Contact Olivia Kember, National Policy and Research Manager, on email@example.com
or 02 8239 6299.
This project was conducted with support from:
+ Miller Foundation Fund, a charitable fund account of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation
+ Hamer Family Fund
+ Digger and Shirley Martin Environment Fund