Is a Labor compromise on reduction of the Renewable Energy Target acceptable?
Big Energy hates the Renewable Energy Target because it is seeing renewables take a growing slice of their shrinking pie. Yes2Renewables activist Ben Courtice explains.
We keep hearing news of ongoing negotiations (or almost negotiations) between the Federal Coalition and Labor over a compromise agreement on reducing the Renewable Energy Target. What’s at stake?
Currently, the latest offer from the Coalition is to reduce the target (from 41,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy by 2020), to 31,000 gigawatt-hours (they had previously said 26,000 would be their preferred figure).
Labor, who have said they will take direction from the renewable energy industry, are so far holding out for a figure in “the mid to high 30s”, supported by the Clean Energy Council until they caved and made a more desperate sounding offer of 33,500 (rejected by the Coalition, regardless).
The ongoing uncertainty over the future of the target means that there is pretty much zero investment happening, banks won’t loan money for renewable projects, because no-one knows what the future will bring.
Unfortunately, if Labor do negotiate a reduced target with the Coalition, we could be in the position where a significant reduction in the target will be painted as a victory by many in the industry — because it gets the finance and construction of projects happening in the short term.
This is despite the fact that the existing, 41,000 gigawatt-hour target could still be met by new wind farms before 2020, with no reduction needed. Continue reading “Is a Labor compromise on reduction of the Renewable Energy Target acceptable?”