Government to retain renewable energy target


AAP reports that the federal government has decided to retain the renewable energy target (RET) at the current level.

The nation will aim to ensure 20 per cent of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

There is evidence that the target will be exceeded. This has led to fears that this will drive up retail power bills.

But Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said that, in reality, reducing the RET would have negligible effect on consumers. Moreover, he stressed that any reduction would damage investor confidence.

"If you're an investor … in the renewable energy sector you want some certainty about these policy settings," he told reporters in Canberra.

And in order to provide certainty, the government has agreed to a CCA recommendation that the scheme be reviewed every four years, instead of two.

According to Australian Greens leader Christine Milne, renewable energy has been a success story in Australia. She claimed that the claimed the coalition has refused to commit to maintaining the fixed 41,000 gigawatt-hour target for the large-scale RET if elected.

However Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Environment said suggestions the coalition would cut the RET were "completely wrong", as it understood any significant changes to the scheme would create sovereign risk issues.

"The coalition is not proposing and has not proposed any changes to the target," he said in a statement.

A coalition government would review the scheme every two years as currently mandated, and would therefore revisit the RET in 2014 if elected in September.

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