Climate Change Authority acknowledges benefits of fixed target

26 October 2012

Following from the preliminary findings of the Climate Change Authority’s (CCA) review into the Renewable Energy Target (RET), leading Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro welcomed the recognition of benefits to both business certainty and investor confidence of a fixed gigawatt-hour target.

“We welcome these sensible preliminary findings from the CCA which support the 2003 Tambling review into the original MRET,” said general manager for Australia, Mr Lane Crockett.
“As was noted in the SKM analysis titled Benefits of the Renewable Energy Target to Australia’s Energy Markets and Economy released yesterday, the RET has delivered significant greenhouse gas savings, investment in the order of $20 billion and reduced wholesale electricity prices over the past ten years.”

The CCA’s preliminary findings also include projected cost savings to society by reducing the target would not be large enough to offset the damage this change would make to investor confidence.

It also states that a target expressed as a percentage or one in gigawatt hours that was adjusted over time, would be even more damaging.

“Keeping the fixed gigawatt hour target will not only ensure that there are no additional costs to build a strong renewable energy sector in Australia, it will enable the RET to continue working and reducing costs for Australians in the years to come.”

Pacific Hydro will also call on the CCA to protect further reviews from undermining investor confidence by adjusting the review clause.

“To further support business confidence and ensure investor certainty is not undermined due to the 2016 review, we strongly encourage the CCA to only allow the fixed target to be revised upwards, as per the Victorian Renewable Energy Target legislation which was in place a few years ago”, said Mr Crockett.

The merry go round of RET reviews has only added to the uncertainty for renewable energy in Australia despite a desire from the community for increasing amounts of renewable energy to be installed.

“Polling consistently shows around 80% support for renewable energy so it was no surprise that the CCA received thousands of individual submissions in support of growing renewable energy in the country”, said Mr Crockett. “Ongoing reviews, which undermine business certainty, only serve to delay the implementation of projects, impacting local jobs and manufacturing.”