RET deal struck, but policy bastardry continues

That’s the view of Giles Parkinson, and I agree with him.

Ostensibly everything is hunky dory. Renewable industry representatives said they could live with a RET of 33,000GWh, down from 41,000GWh. As such that decision will probably consign $5 billion worth of investment in large-scale renewables to the dust bin. That’s about a third of what would have been invested to achieve the 41,000GWh target.

To this decision the government has thrown a smelly red herring on the table, plus an act of pure bastardry.

The red herring is their insistence that the burning of forest waste to create power should be included. That could take up to one-third of the new remaining target.

The bastardry comes with the proviso that the RET will be reviewed twice before 2020, starting next year. That will kill large-scale solar dead, as the development/investment cycle is too long and companies put the queue in the rack as soon as a review is announced. There is a backlog of wind projects waiting to proceed; the real loser will be large-scale solar.

From Tristan Edis’s article, Kane Thornton, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council:

    “These reviews are the root cause of the crisis that the industry is facing, and a deal which guarantees another review next year could be a death warrant for the industry.”

The Abbott government knows exactly what it is doing. The Government had repeatedly assured industry representatives that the constant review process would go. Abbott is pretending to care about climate change while protecting the interests of Big Coal. Greg Hunt, who knows better, is a pathetic tool without spine or principle.

Now we wait to see what cross-bench senators will allow through and whether the Abbott scam will pass into law.

ABC reporting here was oblivious to the real problems and Lenore Taylor, usually clued up on climate matters, showed on The Insiders that she didn’t understand the import of what was being proposed.

Noteworthy in the ABC piece, mark Butler described native wood burning as a last minute inclusion. Ian Macfarlane said:

“We’ve also asked, as we have through the negotiations, that wood waste be included in the Renewable Energy Target.”

One is lying, and I think it’s not Mark Butler.

See also:

Australia now becomes the first country in the world to reduce the ambition of its targets.

5 thoughts on “RET deal struck, but policy bastardry continues”

  1. So a compromise deal has been struck on the RET. The obvious question is how many companies will invest in renewables on the basis of this agreement, particularly given the threat of frequent reviews?
    As I have said before the RET only works when there is robust bipartisan support. Support that is anything but robust at the moment.
    Renewable supporters should stop wasting time trying to make the RET work again and concentrate on approaches such as the ACT, South Africa and Brazilian auction schemes that are working because they give investors confidence.
    Smart to to give up on trying to do it all through the Commonwealth and start encouraging states and large local governments to act.

  2. Interesting rumblings from SA, Queensland and Victoria on wanting to set their own RET targets in ways that will effectively by pass the Abbott govt.

  3. I like the local government angle, JohnD. And Doug offers support to thathinking. There is a strong community desire to take action on climate and energy. That is what win through in thd end, aoart from the glaring reality of Global Warming.

    Apart from wind there needs to be a certain capacity of CSP, I don’t yet see the situation that will allow that to happen.

  4. Bilb: One of the attractions of contract based systems like the ACT renewable auction scheme is that things like location and technology can be specified. This means that the Qld government could run an auction that specifies CSP or whatever.

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