Australian news, and some related international items

Clean energy industry wants a renewable energy target that will ensure a business future for clean energy

Clean energy industry urges Labor to resume RET talks, The Age December 10, 2014 –  National political reporter Clean energy companies are urging Labor to resume talks with the government over Australia’s renewable energy target to try to break an impasse they say is crippling the industry.

It comes as the Clean Energy Council publishes a report that says the breakdown of bipartisanship will strip existing investments in the clean energy sector of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The Clean Energy Council’s report finds that if bipartisanship is not restored, “an unresolved RET review would cause a further collapse in the value of Renewable Energy Certificates” leading to annual revenue losses of $400 to $500 million for existing renewable energy projects.

In some cases this would lead to the collapse and closure of businesses, significant job losses from an industry that directly employs 21,000 people, and the “loss or postponement of more than $14.5 billion in future investment out to 2020”, according to the study…………….

The government has not budged from its starting point, which would reduce the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours of baseline power by 2020, to about 27,000 gigawatt hours – a so called “real 20 per cent”……………….

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said a possible deal with the cross bench would not restore investment certainty and both major parties would have to find an acceptable compromise.

“We’re encouraged from the sentiment from the government to want to move forward and resolve this,” Mr Thornton said.

“Our assumption is that the government is therefore prepared to move from its previously stated position of real 20 per cent.

“Clearly that proposal was entirely unacceptable for the industry.

“If they are we’d encourage Labor to return to the negotiations to achieve an outcome that guarantees a strong future.” Since the government launched its review of Australia’s target, headed by climate sceptic and businessman Dick Warburton, investment in renewable energy has stalled.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that investment for the first three quarters of 2014 was just $238 million, compared to $2 billion for the whole of 2013.

Mr Thornton said a target in the twenties or low thirties would destroy investment in the sector, but the industry was “open to talking about trajectory and numbers” in the mid-thirties range.

Mr Butler said on Tuesday: “We haven’t seen any commitment from the Government that they’re moving from their position of a 40 per cent cut to the RET.

“We’re up for a discussion if they are prepared to shift their position but this industry has said no deal is better than a bad deal.”

December 10, 2014 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy

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