The Renewable Energy Target (RET) review panel's final report,
published on 28 August, looked at a number of scenarios that
involved substantially reducing the level of the legislated policy.
One recommendation of the panel was to close the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) to new entrants and 'grandfather' existing investments. Were this scenario to be adopted by the government, it would lead to widespread job losses across the sector, and have a significant impact on future investment across all states.
Australia’s renewable energy industry currently employs 21,000 Australians, many in regional and rural areas, and is set to generate an additional $15 billion of investment in large-scale projects between now and 2020. Since 2011, investment in the sector has been more than $5 billion each year, with the LRET alone generating more than $10 billion in investment to date.
Some of the impacts on the states are as follows:
- New South Wales would lose $4.24 billion in projected investment out to 2020, and 4410 jobs would be at risk
- Victoria would lose almost $3 billion in investment, with 3700 industry jobs on the line
- Queensland employs 6545 people in the renewable energy industry - all of whom would face an uncertain future if the RET were to be cut
- Projected investment in South Australia would practically dry up, going from $2.1 billion to just 580 million.