The renewable energy industry today welcomed the start of the Federal Government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target, saying the scheme’s low cost and massive benefits could now be decisively demonstrated and critics’ misleading claims debunked.
"The clean energy industry is keen to show the huge positive impact of a stable target, delivering 41,000 gigawatt hours of large-scale renewable energy and millions more solar households and businesses by 2020," Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green said today.
"We relish the opportunity to demonstrate the $18 billion value that the existing Renewable Energy Target represents for our economy, and also for the nation to show current and future investors that Australia is open for business.
"Prime Minister Tony Abbott obviously appreciates all this, saying today that 'Renewable energy makes a lot of sense', while also acknowledging the government's need to avoid creating sovereign risk by respecting decisions businesses have made 'in good faith'."
Contrary to claims from some Renewable Energy Target opponents, it contributes only a small amount to power bills – yet has already supported many billions of dollars of investment in Australia’s economy along with 30,000 jobs, Mr Green said.
Respected analysts including the Australian Energy Market Commission have estimated the cost of the Renewable Energy Target at just 3 to 5 per cent of power bills.
"Every review of the Renewable Energy Target to date has shown that it is doing what it is meant to – delivering clean energy such as solar, wind, bioenergy and hydro at the lowest possible cost to consumers, while providing thousands of jobs and significant investment across Australia.
"This is all the more important when we consider the main alternative – gas – is predicted to triple in price this decade, according to the Australian Industry Group. Without renewables, these price hikes will flow onto the power bills of Australian businesses and households."
Mr Green said the Renewable Energy Target had been one of Australia’s most frequently-scrutinised policies, as legislation currently requires a review of the policy every two years.
"The industry is looking forward to proving its case on the benefits of the current Renewable Energy Target so the two-yearly review requirement is removed, providing investors with the confidence they need to support clean energy projects."
Please contact Clean Energy Council Communications Director Ilsa Colson on 0418 368 639 for more information or to arrange an interview.