While Clive Palmer’s again-found passion for renewables has been encouraging, the battle for the RET is far from over.
It’s becoming increasingly clearer that the government is hell-bent on gutting or destroying the Renewable Energy Target somehow, no matter what evidence is tabled showing that to keep it in its current form is A Very Good Thing.
The Australian has reported on an ABC interview with Prime Minister Abbott, who stated:
“All of us should want to see lower prices and plainly at the moment the renewable energy target is a very significant impact on higher power prices.”
Time and again the impact on residential bills has been shown to be minimal – just a few percent now and that is expected to drop in the next two years to less than 1% of a power bill.
Other fronts are also opening up in the battle.
25 Coalition backbenchers have written to Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane asking for the aluminium industry to be given a full exemption from RET associated costs; plus a change to the scheme to reflect a “true” 20 per cent target. This would result in less renewables being installed and heavily impact on jobs and investment in the sector.
Any nobbling of the RET could also come at a huge political cost for the Coalition. There are over 1.4 million solar households in Australia and owners of solar panel systems are generally quite passionate about the technology.
But it’s not just owners of solar power systems who support the Renewable Energy Target.
A recent survey indicates the number of people supporting an RET of 20 per cent and above has risen to 71 per cent this year and only 9 per cent want to see the target reduced or abolished altogether.