Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says the planned cut to the
renewable energy target (RET) will accommodate the renewables sector and
provide certainty for the industry.
In a statement, Macfarlene said the government was committed
to a ‘real 20 per cent’ RET. However, there will be a cut – from 41,000 gigawatt
hours of energy to about 26,000 gigawatt hours – because the original forecast of
energy use was too high, and therefore the 41,000 would actually equate to 27 per cent.
He said that the renewable energy sector will continue to
grow with such a target.
According to the SMH, he said, “The reality is that
over the last 14 years there’s been about 13,000 gigawatt hours of large-scale
renewable energy installed.”
“Under our proposal there will be another 13,000
gigawatt hours of renewable energy installed in the large scale, that’s a
doubling of what is currently in place.”
“So in terms of the proposals that are out there at the
moment to build wind farms they will be more than accommodated in that
In addition, Macfarlene said that the renewables sector
would have greater clarity because of the removal of the need for a review of the target
every two years.
The Greens leader, Christine Milne, told Sky News that the
RET should be left at 41,000 gigawatt. She claimed this would drive
down energy costs.
“Renewable energy is undermining the business case for the
old fossil fuel generators,” she said.
She said the community wants the target to remain as it is.