Australia’s Renewable Energy Target is once again under review, with sweeping changes on the cards. Bloomberg Energy Finance examined five possible scenarios for the policy and analysed the potential impact of these changes on renewable energy investment, capacity, power sector emissions, jobs and the cost to consumers.
A detailed report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows scrapping or reducing the Renewable Energy Target (RET) would:
- Shelve $12-21 billion of investment in clean energy
- Cut 7,000‐11,000 future jobs in the wind and solar industries every year
- Lead to higher power prices for consumers as wholesale electricity costs would rise
- Deliver the big power companies $6-12 billion of extra revenue from 2015 to 2020
Bloomberg’s analysis shows that, if left untouched, the RET is expected to:
- Drive $35 billion of investment in clean energy by 2020
- Employ 25,000 workers each year in construction and operations
- Reduce emissions from power generation by 5%
- Prevent future surges in power prices by supplying electricity for 20‐25 years with no ongoing fuel costs
The study confirms what the Australian Solar Council has been saying for some time – Solar Saves Money and Creates Jobs.
Axing the Renewable Energy Target will drive up power prices and lead to the closure of thousands of small businesses and the loss of thousands of jobs.
You can find the full Bloomberg New Energy Finance report here.
(Source: Australian Solar Council – Solar Update)
Since this report the Queensland Competition Authority has also released a Press Release stating that the RET (Renewable Energy Target) is not the power price villain made out by politicians and the media. The full press release from the CEC (Clean Energy Council) is listed below:
Monday 2 June 2014
The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) confirmed on Friday what the clean energy industry has been saying for years – that the Renewable Energy Target is not a major factor in rising power prices.
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the latest price determination from the QCA showed that in 2014-2015 the cost of the Renewable Energy Target to Queensland households will fall, while all other parts of the average electricity bill will rise.
In particular, power bills are set to jump due to the increasing cost of gas and the costs of the poles and wires in the electricity network, Mr Marsh said.
The Renewable Energy Target makes up less than 3 per cent of the average power bill, supports thousands of jobs and is an insurance policy against the future cost of gas power, which some analysts predict may be the defining energy challenge of this decade.
The Renewable Energy Target is designed to ensure at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable energy such as wind, hydro, solar and bioenergy like sugar cane waste by 2020 – at the lowest cost. The policy is currently under review, leading to uncertainty which has frozen investment in the sector until it has been completed.
Mr Marsh said the cost to consumers was a major part of the current review process, and four studies this year had shown that power prices would actually increase slightly if the Renewable Energy Target was removed.
Removing the Renewable Energy Target would mean that we need to source more power from increasingly expensive gas, driving up costs for energy users such as mums and dads and manufacturers. We have already seen the start of this in Queensland with the latest price determination from the QCA,” he said.
The Australian Industry Group, which represents some 60,000 businesses including many manufacturers, has also recognised that there would be no benefit to consumers if the Renewable Energy Target was reduced.
Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.
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