Australian news, and some related international items

AUDIO: Government uncertainty about Renewable Energy Target is damaging the entire energy industry

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Energy generators says the uncertainty surrounding Renewable Energy Targets is killing investment in the industry Central Victorian community which built its own renewable energy project may seek compensation from the Federal Government if Australia’s Renewable Energy Target is cut.

A review headed by climate sceptic Dick Warburton last week called for a drastically reduced target for renewables.
While the government will have to negotiate with minor parties in the Senate to make any changes, the uncertainty about the target has seen some projects mothballed or made unviable.

Two thousand members of the Hepburn community invested a total of $10 million dollars on two wind turbines to achieve energy self-sufficiency.

While local children invested smaller amounts of $100, some community members poured up to $50,000 of their life savings into the project.

Founding chairman of the wind farm project, Simon Holmes a Court, says the turbines were expected to start generating returns of around seven per cent later this year, but will be economically unviable if the Renewable Energy Target is cut.

‘Returns from renewable energy investments are already crashing because of the review. The community feels let down that a policy introduced by the Howard government in 1997, that has enjoyed bi-partisan support at successive elections, is now going to be dismantled.’

‘The review is a sham. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.’

Simon Holmes a Court says he’s now got no choice but to fight for compensation ‘if our members’ investment is damaged any further.’

Meanwhile a group of farmers at Crookwell in southern New South Wales has shelved plans to build 47 wind turbines.One of the group, Charlie Prell, says he was hoping the turbines would make his farm more sustainable as well as providing construction and service jobs in the surrounding community. ‘Climate change is real and I as a farmer am going to suffer dramatically the effects, so it made sense to do something about it.’

‘If the government tries to implement the recommendations of the review, there won’t be any investment in renewables.‘However the general manager of corporate affairs with the Energy Supply Association of Australia, Andrew Dillon, blames the RET for an electricity over-supply in Australia resulting in declining investment in renewables.

Andrew Dillon concedes that policy uncertainty is damaging to the industry as a whole.
‘Our members are always loathed to recommend the government start chopping and changing policies half way through.

September 4, 2014 - Posted by | General News

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