Confused about the Renewable Energy Target

[In a recent article published on Manufacturers' Monthly, Ai Group chief executive, Innes Willox had written that there is no need to dump the Renewable Energy Target, but now would be a great time to improve it. Reader Robert Brown from Qenos has this to say in response.]

Your article "Where to now for the RET?", while welcome discussion, seems a bit confused about what this is all about.

Nowhere in the article is there any reference to the intended purpose of the RET – to drive CO2 emissions down by pushing up the component of our power drawn from fossil fuel power generation.

An added bonus has been that the wholesale price has been pushed down in a win for electricity consumers but the costs of the program are not the be-all and end-all of the discussion.

Your article dwells only on the costs with some reference to the uncertainty brought about by ill-informed challenges to existing targets.

Further confusion is apparent with the proposed improvements to the RET referencing small scale solar photovoltaic systems.

A bit of research is missing here as these are covered by a totally separate program called the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme which provides incentive for domestic users to install rooftop PV and solar hot water systems.

The RET or Large Scale Renewable Energy Target creates a financial incentive for the establishment and growth of renewable energy power stations, The challenge with the RET is to set the target as high as we can afford to and continually look to drive it upwards.

The interesting topic for discussion in all of this is how to optimise Australia's manufacturing industry as the RET does its work of driving down our carbon emissions.