Abolishing RET Would Boost Power Prices

According to a Clean Energy Council commissioned report, removing Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) would see Australian households paying billions more for electricity.
  
A report prepared by ROAM Consulting for the Clean Energy Council indicates the absence of the RET would result in households collectively paying in excess of half a billion dollars a year extra for electricity in 2020, and up to $1.4 billion more each year beyond that. 
  
“This means the average household would pay approximately $50 extra per year for their power bills by 2020 if the Renewable Energy Target was scrapped – and up to $140 per year more beyond then,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green.
   
The report reveals that under the existing LRET (large scale) and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), wholesale electricity prices are expected to rise only moderately up until 2020. Growth in new renewables will act as a buffer; reducing price rises that would otherwise occur.
   
Mr Green stated the study demonstrated that abolishing the Renewable Energy Target would also put $14.5 billion of investment in the Australian economy at risk, in addition to 18,400 jobs that would be created by the policy.
   
Removing the Renewable Energy Target would also result in more of Australia’s electricity originating from coal and increasingly expensive gas-fired power; forcing up not only power prices, but also carbon emissions.
    
If the RET is scrapped, electricity sector emissions in 2020 will increase by an estimated 14.8 million tonnes relative to BAU (Business As Usual). Cumulative emissions to 2019-20 would be approximately 34.7 million tonnes higher.
    
If RET policy is left untouched, renewable energy could deliver 22.6 per cent of the electricity consumed in Australia in 2020. 
    
A fact sheet based on the Clean Energy Council’s report can be viewed here (PDF). The full RET Policy Analysis can be downloaded here (PDF).
    
The Renewable Energy Target’s SRES provides support for the purchase of solar power systems; which can translate to thousands of dollars off the up-front cost of acquiring a system.