Alcoa wants resolution to RET debate

Alcoa
has requested certainty in Renewable Energy Target policy as the Coalition
attempts to resume negotiation with Labor over a revised RET.

The
head of government relations at Alcoa, Tim McAuliffe, said the aluminium
industry pays tens of millions under the RET, and had seen two smelters close
permanently this year (Alcoa Point Henry and Kurri Kurri).

“When you
look at [the costs], and you put that in the context of an industry that is
struggling in Australia, it makes it really important and it makes it urgent,” he told the ABC.

“We think that the Government and the Opposition are not that far apart, we think there is genuine, real opportunity here for a compromise to be reached. We think it is one the renewable sector can also live with.”

The opposition ceased discussions last month over the RET, which mandates that
41,000 gigawatt hours of energy be created from renewable sources by 2020. The
government wants this changed to a “true” 20 per cent target of 27,000 gigawatt
hours.

Environment
minister Greg Hunt has offered to resume talks in a letter to his opposition
counterpart, Mark Butler.

“Given the strong push by manufacturing unions to ensure that
jobs are protected, it seems a surprise that not only did the ALP withdraw from
what had been good-faith discussions, but has consciously chosen to stay away,’’ wrote Hunt, according to The Australian.

Image: http://web.mit.edu/