Australians choked on their coffees when learning Clive Palmer and Al Gore would be making an exciting announcement.
Some thought the news was a misprint – one person suggested it was perhaps Weird Al Yankovic that Mr. Palmer would be sharing Parliament House’s Great Hall podium with.
But Clive delivered. Al was there and the announcement was certainly interesting.
It seems Mr. Palmer did some soul-searching after discussions with Mr. Gore and has decided while he and PUP would support the carbon tax repeal, they will also support an ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme); although with a gotcha of all Australia’s major trading partners first implementing their own – something unlikely to happen in the short-term.
However, the bigger news was Mr. Palmer stated he and his PUP Senate team will not support changes to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. Additionally, they would stand in the way of the abolition of the Climate Change Authority and Clean Energy Finance Corp.
The news of support for all three has come in the nick of time; particularly for the small scale solar industry.
ACIL Allen, which has been commissioned to provide economic modelling on the future of the RET, states maintaining the scheme would result in lower household energy bills. But even so, a concluding comment from ACIL Allen’s CEO at a workshop earlier this week was the SRES could be closed down because it was not required.
The SRES (Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme) is the part of the RET that provides subsidisation for the installation of solar power systems. If the SRES were shut down; thousands of solar jobs would go and fewer Australian households would be able to afford to go solar.
While the ongoing RET Review circus and sideshows are by no means over yet; Mr. Palmer’s stance provides some reassurance – assuming he doesn’t have a change of heart and PUP’s Senators adhere.