RET Watch: Cut to target puts $10b investment, jobs at risk

LU280largeNew research by a reputable energy market analyst finds scrapping the Renewable Energy Target would kill off $10 billion of investment in the energy sector. 

Intelligent Energy Systems Advisory revealed that changes to the national renewables target would result in more coal and gas generation, rendering it impossible to meet carbon reduction targets.

IES Advisory investigated three scenarios:

  1. LRET maintains the current 41,000 GWh target by 2020;
  2. LRET is revised down to 20 per cent of electricity demand by 2020 (estimated to be around 26,400 GWh); and
  3. RET is scrapped from January 2015.

The Intelligent Energy Systems (IES) Advisory modeling finds:

  • Softening or scrapping the national Renewable Energy Target will result in 6-9 per cent more coal generation, and up to 16 per cent more gas generation
  • The loss of investment in generation could reach $10 billion if the RET is scrapped and the carbon price fully repealed.

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Fears of a softening or scrapping of the target increased recently when the Abbott government appointed climate change sceptic Dick Warburton to chair the review. The enlistment of Shirley In’t Veld, former Managing Director of the primarily fossil fuel generating Verve Energy, to the review panel also failed to inspire confidence.  

In reality, renewable energy is cutting the coal power sector’s profits. If the review recommends a cut to the RET, Yes 2 Renewables told Renew Economy, then it’ll be clear they’re looking after their fossil-fueled friends, and not the interests of Australians.

The IES finds that a zero RET scenario will cut 5,080 megawatts of new generation entails other crucial losses.

An SKM analysis commissioned by the Clean Energy Council indicated that for every megawatt of installed capacity, 0.7 jobs are created, showing that a typical 50 megawatt wind farm would employ between five and six full-time staff.

As a result, the Renewable Energy Target review threatens 3,556 construction jobs and up to 600 full time jobs – a finding that will not aid the Abbott government’s promise to create two million jobs made during the election campaign.

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Polling shows 73 per cent of Australians think the Renewable Energy Target target is ‘about right’ or ‘not high enough’. For Coalition voters the number is 64 per cent.

Regardless of their political allegiances, Australians want more renewable energy. Will the Prime Minister stand up for the energy future Australians want?


  • We need your help to secure Australia’s renewable energy future! If you want to help a Yes 2 Renewables campaign to Protect The RET please email: leigh.ewbank [at]
  • Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


3 thoughts on “RET Watch: Cut to target puts $10b investment, jobs at risk

  1. Yes, but that doesn’t matter, because conservatives like this bunch of evil screaming hypocrites are only interested in keeping us poor and stupid, whilst they retire to their feudal keeps, from wherein they can order their coachmen to drive over our legs with their iron wheels. Sorry, I must have skipped a century or two.

  2. Wouldn’t it be good for just once to have true leader who would enthuse the people to a cleaner, clever, cost efficient, ethical and more energy secure future for Australia – That future clearly lies with increasing use of renewables. A fact that most advancing nations of the world are already working towards.

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