RET Review : ‘Biased And Predetermined Outcome’

The latest on the Renewable Energy Target review indicates more strongly than ever that the best time to go solar may well be now.

The solar industry has grown accustomed to shocks and dirty tactics from corners desperately seeking to cling to Australia’s old approach to energy. The shocks have continued as the RET Review process gets well under way.

In  a stakeholder meeting on Wednesday, the Expert Panel and modeling team stated modelling that incorporated benefits to network operators and the reduction of wholesale electricity prices resulting from renewable energy generation was “too hard” and would not be part of the RET Review. Furthermore, the parties stated these types of benefits amounted to a “wealth transfer” as opposed to “true benefits”.

The Expert Panel and modeling team also stated any form of carbon pricing would be excluded from their modelling up to and beyond 2030.

Also, the government’s 1 million solar roof policy will not be included in modeling unless funding for it is included in next month’s Budget.

Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes states the RET Review process is heading to a biased and predetermined outcome.

“.. this review is set to side with big business, giving little or no weight to the benefits of solar for householders, business and the community,” he said.

“Clearly any model that fails to consider a carbon price (in any form) up to 2030, in the face of international action on climate change, is negligent and lacks any credibility.”

Another major shock and related credibility issue resulting from the meeting mentioned on RenewEconomy was the Panel’s appointment of ACIL Allen as chief advisor and modeller, a consultancy perceived to be cosy with the fossil fuel industry.

This announcement has added to previous concerns raised as to the suitability of some members of the Panel.

Among many potential negative impacts, it’s feared the outcome of the Review will see the slashing or abolishing of remaining subsidies that currently reduce the cost of solar power systems by up to thousands of dollars. The latest news should perhaps act as a warning signal to those still contemplating installing solar that they might want to act sooner rather than later.