Renewable energy scheme due for review

renewA review into the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme’s impact on electricity prices, energy markets and industry sectors will see the Federal Government keep up to date with the RET’s progress and make changes.
The scheme is legally due for review every two years, and will shed light on related costs and benefits.
“The review considers the contribution of the RET in reducing emissions, its impact on electricity prices and energy markets, as well as its costs and benefits for the renewable energy sector, the manufacturing sector and Australian households,” Federal Industry minister Ian Macfarlane said.
Mr Macfarlane said the review would also look at the suitability of the RET’s goal to deliver 41,000 gigawatt hours and small scale solar generation by 2020, as well as projected electricity demand for the 2020 target and proposed reforms. “Australia’s diversity of energy sources is one of our greatest national strengths,” he said.

“Renewable energy has contributed to the energy mix, but we must ensure that the program is operating effectively. The review will be open and transparent and will consult with a broad range of stakeholders.”
The RET, which is split into large-scale and small-scale schemes, was put in place to ensure 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity is sourced from renewable sources by 2020.
Clean Energy Council chief executive David Green said the review was welcome. “We relish the opportunity to demonstrate the $18 billion value that the existing Renewable Energy Target represents for our economy and also for the nation to show current and future investors that Australia is open for business,” he said.

“The industry is looking forward to proving its case on the benefits of the current Renewable Energy Target so the two-yearly review requirement is removed, providing investors with the confidence they need to support clean energy projects.”
The review will be conducted by a panel of experts and submitted to the Prime Minister, Treasurer and Industry and Environment ministers by mid 2014.