RET Watch: Defend and extend renewables target

Y2R_graphic_editThe Renewable Energy Target is the central plank of national renewable energy policy. The successful scheme is driving the transformation of Australia’s energy sector — creating jobs and investment across Australia while cutting the carbon emissions that cause global warming.

In a letter to the editor published by The South Gippsland Sentinel Times, Bernie McComb of Cowes thinks the Abbott government’s priorities are out of step with the need to decarbonise our energy system:

Federal Minister for Environment causes damage by supporting dirty coal fired power.

Minister for Manufacturing undermines growth industry for renewable energy.

Hazelwood installation was early 1970s, at-end of supplier’s 20 year manufacturing life cycle, which means start-up early 1950s, which means designed in 1940s.

How can any essential industrial plant not be replaced after 45 years?

Why is operating company not boasting about investment plans for replacement, scheduled for 2005 by SEC?

Governments insist on level playing fields.

Brown coal is 50 per cent dirtier than black coal, which was balanced with “price signal” under carbon tax, reducing share in electricity supply auction system.

Without carbon tax, cleaner black coal power is in idle mode while dirty brown coal is at full power. Because it’s cheap (when taxpayer picks up tab for “externalities” like fire damage $100 million).

How cheap is brown coal? Whereas black coal, because it’s an export commodity, royalty, much less than “world price” but estimated at $40 per tonne or so is paid by power stations.

Brown coal because it’s not an export (yet) pays less than $lA tonne. So how about “economic reform”, a royalty of, say, $28A tonne (black coal is 150 per cent more energy, so 150 per cent more $)?

Surely fair price for brown coal is fair way to reduce over supply, to match demand. More power from black coal means 50 per cent emissions reduction.

Or why not help renewables, delivering 100 per cent emissions reduction?

Politicians keep saying we need more foreign capital to develop our economy.

Hazelwood has developed nothing. How can we afford nothing for such huge cost to taxpayers? How much longer must we wait for Ministers to do what they were elected to do, protect environment and help growth industries?

When we need to go onwards and upwards, Tony takes us downwards and backwards, not listening, not learning. Defend and extend the RET.

Bernie McComb, Cowes.

If you want a renewable energy-powered future for Australia, here are a few simple actions you can take to support the Renewable Energy Target.


  • Sign our petition calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to keep his election promise and maintain the national Renewable Energy Target as it stands.
  • Help us get climate change and renewables on the agenda of the Australian Labor Party’s national conference. Add your name to our open letter to opposition leader Bill Shorten.
  • Support our campaign by getting involved or making a donation.
  • Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


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