How you can help save Australia’s Renewable Energy Target

Renewables are currently in the hot seat as electric utilities lobby to eliminate or weaken the primary incentive mechanism left in Australia that supports them: The Renewable Energy Target. It’s an understatement to say that politics will play an important role in the future of this scheme and for the future of renewable energy in Australia more generally.

With the interests of conservative leaders more or less aligned with the interests of electric utilities (and a review of the RET underway), there’s a lot of work to be done among renewables supporters to ensure it isn’t paralysed or totally dismantled. Small & medium sized solar companies, activist groups, and ordinary citizens alike are wondering what they can do to keep the RET alive and vital.

And rightfully so, as changes to the RET will affect anyone who has solar, works in solar, or wants solar. If we add up how many Australians live in homes with solar panels, work in the solar industry and/or have a positive attitude to solar (i.e. about 2/3 of the population), the number is easily in the millions. It doesn’t seem that our decision-makers quite understand this fact. Yet.

Below are 5 ways that you can support the RET and help ensure that the government gets the message that the RET shouldn’t be messed with.

1. Support solar power and renewable energy advocates. They have done the research and, despite disagreements in opinion, they have one goal in common: saving the RET.

2. Determine the real reasons behind the resistance and tell your lawmakers about them. Dig deeper and find out why different factions oppose renewable energy use. Usually, the problem is not renewable power itself but something else. If these problems are addressed properly, the resistance should wane.

3. Tell the public which politicians support RET. More than two out of every ten voters support renewable energy. This should put a little more pressure on politicians to support RET.

4. Get both traditional and social media on your side. Spreading the news is mandatory in saving RET. Social media is particularly effective in changing public opinion.

5. Remember that supporting RET adds very little to electricity costs. According to the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, any change in policy that puts RET at a disadvantage will hinder solar power technology while decreasing power consumption rates only by a negligible amount.

Read more on SolarBusiness.com.au: Get the facts and learn more about how you can support the RET

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd 

Nigel Morris

Nigel is one of the foremost solar energy analysts in Australia, having worked in the industry for over two decades.
Nigel Morris