A newly released report and review regarding the Australian Renewable Energy Target was released by the Australian Climate Change Authority. The said report clearly advises against the Federal Government’s move to slash or scale back the 2020 RET of 41,000 GHw.
The report also states the Climate Change Authority verifies that the RET may not be perfect but it is the only viable solution to significantly reduce carbon emissions within the electricity sector at a very low cost. It is also the only sizable electricity policy that is geared towards significant emission reductions.
Climate Change Authority highlights benefits of RET
Other energy policies and plans only intend to reward corporations in the private sector for reducing their emissions instead of penalizing them in the first place, a policy only recently introduced in the country following the change of government officials.
The Climate Change Authority also recommends extending the Renewable Energy Target by another three years due to the sudden drop in investor confidence following the forecast of reduced consumer electricity demands as well as the ongoing impasse over the debate of the RET between the Federal Government and Labor.
The Climate Change Authority’s new proposal indicates that current near-term energy targets should remain the same in order to maintain current surplus in the system. This includes not significantly altering the current SRES plan in the RET.
Climate Change Authority moves to keep 2020 energy target
In response to the report, the Clean Energy Council or CEC has welcomed the findings warmly. The CEC Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, also stated that the new review (which is the third in two years) proves that the RET project will be successful and that the findings dismiss any debate for slashing the RET.
In addition to this, the Climate Change Authority states once more that slashing the RET would only lead to further price increases in the energy sector as well as even more carbon emissions in the foreseeable future.
These new reports will put a lot of pressure on the Federal Government, especially after their recent efforts to completely abandon the RET as well as cut down on financing for renewable energy research, including solar power.
As a matter of fact, the Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane warned over the past weekend that power prices are bound to increase if a deal between Labor/CEC and the Federal Government cannot be reached anytime soon.
Federal Government stands by their abandonment of RET
While the Federal Government points a blaming finger at the CEC for the current situation involved increased energy prices, much of it has to go due to their current plan of abandoning the RET project, a project supported by both parties for well over a decade.
This is characterized by the current Direct Action plan and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s statement that coal is “good for humanity”. The Prime Minister also recently attacked the ANU after their divestment of several fossil fuel companies and called the decision outright “stupid”.
The CCA hopes that these new studies may reinforce the concept of the RET to get it back on track in order to significantly reduce emissions between 2020 and 2030 while also providing cleaner, cheaper electricity to both the residential and commercial consumer via renewable energy sources.