Ditching RET would be no help: Ai Group

The
Australian Industry Group has said removing the Renewable Energy Target,
currently under review by a government-appointed panel, would not lead to
better outcomes for power users.

Fairfax reports that drastically reducing the target was warned against by the lobby
group, which represents over 60,000 companies.

“After
consulting with our diverse membership and reviewing the evidence currently
available, we have judged that reducing the RET is likely to cost energy users
as much in higher wholesale prices as it saves them in direct RET charges,” said Aig Group CEO Innes Willox in a statement.

“Ai
Group has urged the RET Review Panel to consider the practical deliverability
of the current target. If there is a genuine risk of missing the target and
incurring penalties, the target should be trimmed.

“But
on the current evidence base, cutting the target below this point would not
advance energy users’ interests. We will continue to refine these judgments on
the basis of any further evidence that emerges from the RET Review process.”

Prime minister Tony Abbott last year said that the current
target – 20 per cent of electricity to be generated by renewable by 2020 – was impeding
Australia’s ability to be “an affordable energy superpower.”

The federal government announced in last week’s budget that
it planned to scrap the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The panel reviewing the RET will report in the middle of the year. It is headed by the inaugural chairman of Manufacturing Australia, Dick
Warburton.