RET review done. Time to invest.

19 December 2012

Pacific Hydro has welcomed the end of the latest Renewable Energy Target review and the Climate Change Authority (CCA) final report which recommends retaining a fixed gigawatt hour (GWh) target of 41,000GWh for the Large Scale Renewable Energy Target, amongst other measures.

“The review is done. Now is the time to get on with the business of transitioning to clean energy,” said Pacific Hydro general manager for Australia, Mr Lane Crockett.

“There is no reason to delay; we just have to get on with the job.”

Pacific Hydro is highly supportive of the CCA recommendation that the LRET retain a fixed GWh target as this is crucial to ensure certainty and investor confidence.

Other recommendations include moving from two-year to four-year reviews, however Pacific Hydro would like to see further changes to this aspect of the legislation.

“The renewables industry has been reviewed ad nauseam over the past decade,” said Mr Crockett.

“Here is yet another review that finds the RET and renewable energy brings benefits including significant emission abatement. We need to get on with transforming our energy sector to one that is cleaner – without being hampered by ongoing reviews.”

Pacific Hydro would like to see the reviews either removed from the legislation all together, or the RET legislation amended so that the target can only be reviewed upwards in future.

The renewable energy industry has been plagued by boom and bust scenarios ever since the Howard Government first implemented a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target in 2001.

“The challenge for renewables has always been certainty – so we can get on with the job of building projects,” said Mr Crockett.

“With this latest review behind us, 2013 has all the hallmarks of being a turnaround year for the renewable energy industry.”

Already the renewable energy industry has invested around $20 billion into projects since 2001, creating tens of thousands of jobs along the way and abated around 23 million tonnes of CO2e. Delivering projects to meet the 20% by 2020 RET is expected to deliver a similar level of investment and job opportunities to regional communities where jobs are often hardest to find.

And by increasing renewable energy generation we are reducing our reliance on fossil fuel generation, a known cause of respiratory illness in Australians.

“We note the shrill nature of the Australian Coal Association attack on renewables. We take this as evidence that the RET is working by reducing our reliance on coal.

“We call on the Commonwealth respond to the report’s recommendations as quickly as possible to enable the industry to get moving again,” added Mr Crockett.