“The Renewable Energy Target is under review yet again, with a real risk of dilution or complete abolition,” says Brian England, National Chairman of the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). “In our letter to all Coalition Members of Parliament we have been very clear about SEIA’s concerns.”
Brian England said: “SEIA as an organization of solar industry businesses and installers is appalled by the calls to slash or abolish the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) as part of an overall aim to knee-cap the renewable energy industry. This is being done in conjunction with efforts to close down ARENA, CEFC, ACC and removing a price on carbon.
This is dinosaur thinking and is in contradiction to the efforts being made globally to reduce carbon emissions and create a renewable future for us all. Reading the reports from independent national and international bodies (including the just released IPCC report) who are assessing efforts to reduce our global carbon emissions, in the 6 months since coming to power the Australian Government has gone from a leader on renewables on the world stage to a laughing stock, and the thrust of your Government policy in this area has been held up to ridicule both nationally and internationally.
We trust that you will be able to look your children and grandchildren in the eye in a not too distant future and be able to say your vote on these matters in the Parliament was based on looking after their future and not about political myopia.
I can’t help but wonder how much of your Government’s policy direction is centered around the needs of the many fossil fuel lobbyists and their employers whom seem to haunt the halls of Parliament and have your ear at the expense of other sectors of the economy.
If your Government is serious about reducing support for all players in the energy sector, then removing the enormous subsidies enjoyed by the fossil fuel industry would be a good start, and provide at least some credibility to your efforts to scuttle the renewable sector through removing every assistance possible.
The Renewable Energy Target currently only contributes between 3 and 5 per cent (depending on which Australian state you’re in) to the average household power bill. In its recent Residential Electricity Price Trends report, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) concluded that price rises will moderate over the next few years with a fall in the cost of the Renewable Energy Target scheme a part of that. The AEMC estimates that the RET is currently around 4 per cent of the current unit cost of electricity and that this will drop to around 3 per cent in the coming years.
The RET is low cost and achieving what it was set up to do: transform our energy system towards clean, renewable energy. If anything it needs to be increased with time to reflect the increasing changes in the sector and the increasing needs of carbon reduction. There are billions of dollars in renewable investment in Australia at risk with a reduction of the RET, along with an estimated 6-10,000 jobs and thousands of businesses that go with such investment.
We urge you to think long and hard when making such momentous decisions about the RET and all the other renewable programs your Government is dedicated to scuttling, which will impact on the future for us all for generations to come, and that you will have the integrity to stand up and if necessary cross the floor to make your statement count.”