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Renewable Energy Target Review welcomed, some hurdles ahead – Australian Solar Council

The Australian Solar Council has welcomed the Climate Change Authority’s recommendation to maintain the Renewable Energy Target, but is disappointed by the recommendations on commercial and household solar.”

“This is one step forward, one step back for solar” said John Grimes, Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council.

“There is strong bipartisan support for the Renewable Energy Target because it works”, said Mr Grimes. “The RET has reduced carbon pollution and substantially increased the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources. The cost of the small-scale scheme is modest and falling.”

“There is much to welcome in the Climate Change Authority report – the call for 4 yearly reviews and recognition of the value of the RET and importance of investor certainty, but there is not enough ambition with the Large-scale target. The Solar Council is pleased the CCA has moved away from its draft recommendations to slash solar support.”

“The proposal to move solar systems above 10 kilowatts into the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target will significantly undermine investor certainty and lead to business plans being ripped up. We need to encourage larger power users to invest in solar and this will be a backward step. The proposal could reduce the ability to delay infrastructure costs and may not reduce wholesale
energy costs.”

“The recommendation to phase out the small-scale scheme will hurt Australian families wanting to install solar later this decade. The Solar Council will work with government to ensure from 2017 there is support for Australian families.”

“The recommendation to maintain the RET is a defeat for the powerful forces that wanted to take Australia backwards to a time when we produced less clean energy. Those days are thankfully over and now we need to move forward ambitiously to a true clean energy future.”

“No one will look back fondly on a Review of the Renewable Energy Target that failed to increase the target in the face of the most worrying climate science warning of a 4-6 degree rise in temperatures by the end of the Century.”

“The Government and the Coalition now need to step up and set strong targets for renewable energy for 2030 and beyond.”

“All projects supported by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation should be additional to the RET. Independent modelling commissioned by the Australian Solar Council and WWF showed the CEFC and the RET could deliver 11 gigawatts of big solar by 2030, equivalent to about 15 coal-fired power stations.”

The Australian Solar Council is also disappointed the CCA has recommended against changes to solar accreditation. Legislated monopolies are bad public policy and deliver less than desirable outcomes. We call on Minister Combet to move early in the New Year to change the accreditation arrangements.

Written by John Grimes, Chief Executive, Australian Solar Council

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