It is in the national interest for an agreement to be reached on renewable energy, with the uncertainty crippling investment, according to the Australian Industry Group.
The Ai Group’s chief executive, Innes Willox, writes in The Australian Financial Review today that the impasse on a revised Renewable Energy Target was “strangling investment” in the sector.
As the head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation's chief Oliver Yates told Senate estimates yesterday, investment in renewables projects was down by 88 per cent (according to a Bloomberg estimate) to 2002 levels.
The uncertainty around the RET has been blamed for a lack of confidence to invest in the sector. Negotiations between opposition and government collapsed in November.
Both side supports an exemption for energy-intensive industries, such as aluminium production, notes Willox. The minor differences over a revised RET – “whether it should be lowered from the current 41 terawatt hours in 2020 to the ‘low to mid 30s’ or the ‘mid to high 30s’” – should be settled immediately, he wrote.
“Neither side need move far to secure a deal,” Willox wrote in The AFR.