Australia in danger of becoming a renewable energy ‘laggard’ globally if RET is cut

The world’s largest solar manufacturer, Yingli Green Energy, has warned Australia that the maintenance of the Renewable Energy Target is crucial for the ongoing business and future stability of the solar industry in the country.

It said far from being a leader, Australia now risked being a laggard in international circles.

“For many years Australia has claimed that it was in danger of leading the pack in its attempts to reduce GHGs (greenhouse gases),” Yingli wrote.

“However, given the increasing commitments made by other countries (e.g. more than 70 countries around the world have put in place targets and policies to support the development of renewable energy technologies), Australia is now a laggard in this area.”

It noted the UK government’s commitment to 30 per cent renewable energy by 2020. France has also lifted its renewable target to 40 per cent.

Yingli also challenged claims that electricity demand was falling, saying that this did not take into account that many homes and businesses were simply finding a new way to generate energy.

“These trends fail to include off-grid generation and rooftop solar which would add significantly to the total electricity consumption. In fact many Australians are not using less electricity, they are just buying less from retailers.

Yingli also suggested that solar would help manufacturers manage energy bills.

“Yingli Green Energy have been involved with a number of Australian manufacturers who have installed solar systems, significantly reducing business risk and giving them the certainty to plan for expansion,” it wrote.

“Solar energy is particularly efficient for the manufacturing sector, given its peak production happens during the day when energy consumption is often at its highest.”

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Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson regularly contributes unique content to Solar Choice News. Giles is the founder and editor of clean energy industry news service RenewEconomy. He is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founding editor of Climate Spectator.
Giles Parkinson