Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Climate Change Authority hits bullseye on Renewable Energy Target review

Clean Energy Council
26 Oct 2012

Australia's clean energy industry has congratulated the Climate Change Authority for recognising the importance of policy stability in recommending that the national 20% Renewable Energy Target be essentially retained in its current form. Clean Energy Council Deputy Chief Executive Kane Thornton said it was clear from the discussion paper and the modelling report released today that the Climate Change Authority had understood the key issues confronting the industry.

Retaining a fixed target as drafted in the legislation is the best outcome for companies and investors who are looking at renewable energy projects between now and the end of the decade", he said. Mr Thornton said he was pleased with the authority's recommendation to leave the small-scale scheme unchanged to provide maximum stability to small-scale renewable energy businesses, as well as supporting householders who are increasingly turning to these technologies to protect themselves from rising power bills.

"We agree with the analysis by the Climate Change Authority that all this comes at a low cost to consumers", he said. "Every review of this policy has shown that the Renewable Energy Target is the most efficient, low-cost and effective way to deliver what Australians consistently say they want-more clean energy. But every review has also stifled investment and created uncertainty due to the prospect of serious policy changes".

Mr Thornton said a report released by the Clean Energy Council this week by SKM MMA found that Australia's economy stood to gain an additional $18.7 billion in investment under the policy if it is retained in its current form. "Much of this investment would flow into regional areas of the country where many of these projects are located. The reality is that the Renewable Energy Target is a chance to lock in the substantial benefits of major clean energy projects for local economies-particularly those areas that have been missed by the mining boom.

"The Clean Energy Council supports the Climate Change Authority's consideration of a range of options to provide greater flexibility and choice in the future operation and administration of the scheme. "Each of these-particularly the recommendation for additional accreditation bodies-require further analysis and assessment to ensure they enhance the overall integrity of the scheme".