Renewables industry calls AU government to resolve RET crisis

Clean Energy Council (CEC) has called the political leadership of Australia to resolve the crisis in the Australian renewable energy sector caused by the renewable energy target scheme.

Renewable energy target (RET) is set to 20 percent by 2020, which amounts to 41.000 GW/h of electricity generated from renewable sources.

But due to the fall in the electricity demand in Australia over the past five years the, the GW/h target set by RET scheme would represent more than 20 percent of Australia’s electricity needs.

Renewables industry claims that this is deterring banks from granting funds to renewable energy projects.

Kane Thornton, CEO of Clean Energy Council, said that since the review of RET target began 13 months ago, it resulted in a collapse of investment in new large-scale renewable energy such as solar and wind farms to levels almost 90 percent lower than the year before.

CEC has proposed to both major parties of AU government to find a compromise by splitting the difference and setting up the RET target to 33.500 GW/h, to get the industry moving again.

Kane Thornton said: “The renewable energy sector’s compromise proposal of 33,500 gigawatt-hours by 2020 will preserve a multi-billion dollar investment pipeline over the next five years, creating thousands of jobs, predominantly in rural Australia. It will also generate significant business for hundreds of small businesses across Australia.”

Thornton said the Clean Energy Council proposal to resolve the RET deadlock had been welcomed by Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Aluminum Council and the Energy Users Association of Australia.

The proposal was presented to AU’s Prime minister Tony Abbott and the government opposition at the end of March, and no formal response has been received from either party, according to CEC.

Clean Energy Council is an industry association made up of more than 550 member companies operating in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency. CEC member are involved in the development or deployment of clean energy technologies such as bioenergy, cogeneration, energy efficiency, geothermal, hydro, solar, solar hot water, marine energy and wind.

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