RET two-yearly reviews kept, disappointing renewables sector

The inclusion of a two-yearly review of the Renewable Energy Target following a bipartisan agreement on a 2020 target level has bitterly disappointed renewables manufacturers.

Late last week the government and opposition came to a compromise on a 2020 target of 33,000 gigawatt hours, revised down from 41,000.

However, the government had changed its mind on doing away with reviews, which are a source of uncertainty and cruel investment in the sector, according to critics. The next review will be in 2016.

Steve Garner, general manager with wind tower maker Keppel Prince Engineering said he was excited at a compromise target finally being reached, then disappointed.

“There's usually hooks in the system and sure enough they've thrown a hook in on this one as well,” he told the ABC’s AM on Saturday.

“It just has that air of uncertainty and the industry just locks up any sort of spending for probably a good six to eight months beforehand, and, I guess for us, what we've felt from 2000 for the whole period of time for these reviews has been every two years we seem to run out of work.”

Industry minister Ian Macfarlane had previously said the government’s support of the renewable energy target centred around a “real 20 per cent” target, no change for household solar, reducing pressure on energy-intensive trade exposed sectors (such as aluminium), and the renewables sector getting “greater clarity by removing the need for a review of the target every two years”.

Image: ABC News

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