Renewables Braces For Budget Bashing And Broken Promises

They say a day can be a long time in politics – the same goes for the Australian renewable energy industry (and it’s usually because of the politics).
  
Various media outlets reported on Monday that the Abbott government will announce its intentions to wind up the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in Tuesday’s budget.
  
ARENA is an independent agency that was established by the previous government in 1 July 2012. 
   
“What’s disappointing here is that the Coalition really went out of its way prior to the election to restate their commitment to ARENA,” said Kane Thornton, deputy chief executive of the Clean Energy Council.
  
The threat to ARENA just adds to the uncertainty for a sector that is working under the shadow of the current Renewable Energy Target review; which some say has a biased and predetermined outcome. Regardless of the outcome, the current state of play is making investors nervous and stalling renewable energy projects.
  
“Axing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is a damning reflection on the backward thinking of the Abbott government,” said Greens leader, Senator Christine Milne. 
   
“The Abbott government has no vision for the future, or indeed, the present day. ARENA is a productivity investment that invests in the best of renewable energy technology, and every Australian stands to profit from the return, with cheaper long-term energy prices and a safer climate.”
   
RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson said if ARENA should be axed and fears concerning the RET realised, it will make Australia a leader in green energy – but not in a positive way.
   
“It will be the first country to abolish a carbon price, the first country to wind back the ambitions of renewable energy targets, the first country to dump a newly formed green bank, and the first to slash funding on the sort of R&D and support for emerging technologies that was the speciality of ARENA.”