AGL CEO wants to scrap renewable energy target or RET scheme totally

Michael Fraser, AGL CEO calls for the total abandonment of the Renewable Energy Target.

His company, once the ‘greenest’ retailer in Australia, but now the biggest producer of coal-fired energy, has moved to scrap the renewable energy scheme completely.

Amidst the speculation in the country’s capital as well as media outlets that the present government led by Tony Abbott and Labour would agree on a compromise which would result in a considerable slashing of the present 41,000 GWh target, AGL wants to arbitrate in the debate by claiming that bargaining is not good enough. Fraser said the RET must be totally abandoned.

‘RET is broken’ according to Fraser

Fraser’s argument is that investors have already lost faith that the settings of the renewable energy scheme will be left in a state that ensures a viable return for investments in large-scale renewable energy projects.

According to Fraser, this will be the scenario even if the government and Labour reach an agreement on any changes in the scheme. He recommended that the government has to look for a new framework that will not only inject new renewables in the system, but also encourage existing old fossil fuel generators to quit.

AGL lack of confidence in RET is nothing new

But some have observed that this position is not new to AGL. They say that without resorting to this radical change, the underlying issue can still be successfully resolved.

The fact is: Fraser has overseen the change in AGL Energy’s business model from green to black. He is now saying that the RET is broken and is now endorsing the controversial Warburton Review’s more extreme conclusion that the RET should be scrapped altogether.

In an interview on Radio National recently, Fraser suggested that Australia should ‘go back to the drawing board’ and think about alternative mechanisms such as feed-in-tariffs, or tax incentives – and then study how much renewable energy it wants to have in the system.

Advertisment - Learn more

But some have found several issues with Fraser’s current statements. For instance, all the studies to date have found the RET has actually worked. Solar power investment became viable. In fact it spurred billions of dollars of investments, thousands of jobs and dramatic reduction in emissions.

Others say RET not to be blamed for slump in solar

The factor that caused the slump in solar power investment in the last two years is the vacillation showed by the Abbott government and the inability of the developers to obtain power purchase agreements from companies like AGL Energy and others.

Thus they are not able to secure funding for their developments. Still, the Abbott government uses the ‘target is impossible’ argument.

However, Fraser is right in saying that any kind of compromise around the RET; investor confidence will be shaky because of the shenanigans of the Coalition Governments’ Warburton Review.

To even discuss that the RET would be left high and dry and that it would be scrapped completely is really shocking. But the fact is, as many have correctly observed, once the RET scheme is abandoned, and the certificate revenues dry up, income of large-scale projects will likely dive down as well.

The Author

Hi, my name is Eddy and I am an editor and content creator working within the media release department at Australian Solar Quotes and American Solar Quotes. Within my work I strive to educate and inform others through my coverage of current news and events within the renewable energy field from around the world. I invite you to join the conversation by commenting below with your thoughts.

×

graham from Lake Cathie, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar about 3 hours ago!

Kon from Wantirna, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 4 hours ago!

Andrew from Manunda, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Andrew from Manunda, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

N from Roxburgh Park, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

James from Crib Point, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Sean from North Lakes, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Rebecca from Baldivis, Western Australia asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Marjorie from Taylors Hill, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

eric from Rowville, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Cam from Rosebud, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Franj from Portland, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Susan from Three Moon, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Jessie from Trott Park, South Australia asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Tracey from Chuwar, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Sylvia from Hawthorn, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Ash from Hampton Park, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 6 days ago!

Allan from Gunnedah, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar 6 days ago!

Simon from Dakabin, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 7 days ago!

William from Clifton Springs, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 7 days ago!