Push to change Renewable Energy Target gains momentum

By Eliza Borrello

The current target, for 20 per cent of Australia’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, was set in 2009 when it was forecast that would represent 41,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity.

Victorian Liberal MP Dan Tehan says the MPs also want consideration given to changing the scheme to reflect a “true” 20 per cent target.

A push within Federal Government ranks to reduce the Renewable Energy Target (RET) - prompted by falling electricity demand - is gaining momentum.

However, energy demand is lower than what was forecast and there are estimates Australia is on track to get 27 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

“We need to have a look at, OK, what are the forecasts for current usage and reset that target so it is what they call a ‘real’ or a ‘true’ 20 per cent by 2020,” Mr Tehan told the ABC today.

Queensland Coalition backbencher Ewen Jones says changes should be considered but is worried about cane millers who have invested in renewable energy.

Yesterday the ABC revealed 25 Coalition backbenchers had written to Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane asking for the aluminium industry to be given a full exemption from the costs associated with the scheme.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is waiting for a review of the target, due in the next couple of months, and emphasises the need to protect jobs.

“The Renewable Energy Target is very significantly driving up power prices,” Mr Abbott told the ABC’s AM.

Read more here: ABC


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