Threat To The RET Also A Threat To Retirement Savings

Originally posted at Energy Matters. View the original post here

An investment advisory group has warned hobbling Australian’s Renewable Energy Target will negatively impact on the superannuation of millions of Australians.

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC ) is a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand investors examining the impact climate change has on the financial value of investments. Its management committee includes members from organisations including HESTA Super Fund, Citi Investment Research, Goldman Sachs and AMP Capital Investors.

ethicalinvestmentAccording to the Australian Financial Review , the investor group’s chief executive Nathan Fabian has warned millions of Australians are financially exposed to renewable energy assets via their Australian-based superannuation funds.

An example are the assets of Pacific Hydro; which has geothermal, hydro, wind and solar power based electricity generation facilities throughout Australia.

Pacific Hydro is owned by the IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, which is managed by IFM Investors. IFM Investors is wholly owned, through Industry Super Holdings, by 30 Australian superannuation funds.

The AFR article states Mr. Fabian says a weaker RET would translate to lower revenue for existing assets, lower or no distributions to investors and other negative impacts “directly ­flowing through to investment and retirement account balances”.

In addition to affecting retirees and those approaching retirement through superannuation impacts; a trimmed down RET could also affect this group directly in another way. Solar is becoming more popular as a part of retirement planning and the Renewable Energy Target provides support for the purchase of solar power systems. Without this support, acquiring a system could cost thousands more.

While there has been some good news on the Renewable Energy Target front, most recently with Clive Palmer’s apparently rekindled passion for renewables, the Abbott Government seems determined to gut the RET and is continuing toperpetuate myths about the impact of the RET on electricity prices.

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