RET is an outstanding success: governments, business and the community should be proud, says Pacific Hydro

20 May 2014

Pacific Hydro’s submission to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) review celebrates the extraordinary success achieved by the policy in the decade since it was originally implemented.

“The RET has delivered significant benefits in regional areas including new job opportunities, investment, allied industry development, community programs and initiatives along with bringing new competition to the energy market which has resulted in lower wholesale prices”, said Mr Lane Crockett, executive general manager for Pacific Hydro Australia.

“As well as these important outcomes, the impact on our electricity mix has been measurable – both black and brown coal use are at their lowest levels in a decade and our emissions are down over the same period. In a sector of the economy which contributes 33% of Australia’s emissions, this is an important outcome.”

Pacific Hydro’s submission to the RET review also includes a warning of the sovereign risk associated with significant changes to the target, explaining that it will stop new projects from being developed, contribute to value destruction of existing projects and put at risk community grants programs that deliver around $250,000 each year.

“The only winners from a major change in the target are the incumbent fossil fuel generators whereas the losers include investors, consumers, communities and the environment,” added Mr Crockett.

Since 2001 the RET has resulted in over $18 billion in new innovative technologies, the creation of some 24,000 jobs and the reduction of 22.5 Mt in carbon emissions.

Pacific Hydro has made the following recommendations in its submission:

  • Retain the present target to deliver 41,000 GWh of large scale renewable energy in 2020.
  • Remove legislated two year reviews.
  • Reject re-combining the schemes for small and large scale technologies.
  • Recognise the impacts from material changes to the target on value destruction and sovereign risk impacts for existing operating projects and for development projects and address the risks to Government in managing these impacts.
  • Recognise the material and negative impact on electricity prices for consumers and businesses that would flow from material change to the Renewable Energy Target.
  • Recognise community support for increasing renewable energy and developing opportunities through this industry in Australia.
  • Recognise the potential risks to Australia’s investment reputation.
  • Recognise the important role the RET plays in achieving the Government’s stated objective of a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.