Even as an agreement appears to be close at hand, talks have again broken down between Labor and the Coalition about the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Labor walked out on the talks, with opposition Environment Minister Mark Butler saying that his party will not back a RET deal that allows for the continuation of 2-yearly reviews. This comes after news that Labor and the Coalition had apparently reached an agreement on a curtailed target of 33,000GWh in 2020 – down from 41,000GWh.
The current review began well over one year ago, leaving the country’s large-scale renewable energy sector in almost total limbo. The drawn-out RET review process itself has been regarded by many in the industry as an attempt by the current government to stall uptake of renewables by creating uncertainty around the future of the scheme.
The Australian Solar Council said in a media release about the news that it fully backs Labor’s position.
“The Renewable Energy Target (RET) has been subjected to three reviews in three years, and now the Abbott Government wants another review to start in 7 months time,” Solar Council chief John Grimes said.
“Another RET Review in 7 months time would devastate Australia’s solar industry, hurting Australia’s 5,000 solar small businesses and putting 18,000 jobs at risk.”
Mr Grimes encouraged industry players and solar supporters to email Environment Minister Greg Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ian Macfarlane (email@example.com) with the message that a new review so soon would be unacceptable.
© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd