RET a must for future energy security and health

13 July 2012

Today’s Australian Financial Review published a letter from Greg Evans of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry attacking the Renewable Energy Target (RET). Sadly, he misses the mark as to the main causes of energy price rises and ignores the important benefits of a clean energy.

The Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal of NSW estimates that consumer energy bills will increase by 18% over the coming year.  Of this increase green schemes like the RET are responsible for just 0.3% while the carbon price will add 8.9% and network upgrades 8.4%.

Over the last few years it has been the significant spending on networks that has driven higher energy prices and this trend is likely to continue as asset owners build systems to cope with peak summer demand.

When it comes to green schemes like the RET, a quick review of the latest IPART fact sheet tells a more complete story.  The Large Scale Renewable Energy Target which supports the deployment of utility scale
renewable energy is estimated to contribute just $38 (less than 0.1%) of estimated increases while the Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme contributes $64.

Renewable energy has an important role to play in a future energy supply that is better for air quality and human health (which helps to lower the national health bill) while providing a more diverse and secure energy system that is immune to volatile world energy markets.  It will also play a significant role in meeting peak summer demand, reducing the need for future network spending.

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