Stop flip-flopping on the RET, Greg. Do it. Do it now.

FLIP FLOPSee the article below from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt needs to consider the full cost of the RET.

If the REC goes to $95, then a 3MW turbine will receive around $1million worth of RECs every year until 2031.

The REC subsidy alone will reap the industry $50-60billion over the life of the RET scheme at those rates.

Electricity consumers can expect to see their power bills double again over the next two years.

Say goodbye to a lot of small businesses, say a prayer for the bones of the manufacturing sector and throw some coins at pensioners and those on low fixed incomes who will be sitting in the dark and freezing in winter.

The Coalition needs to wake up and throttle the wind industry now.  The longer it goes on, the more damage will be done.

Hunt needs to stop pandering to the wind farm developers and start representing the interests of the people of Australia.

Greg – stop these things. Do it now.

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Coalition faces carbon tax contradiction, report finds

By Peter Hannam

Scrapping the carbon tax would effectively halt investment in the country’s renewable energy sector overnight without other changes to support the industry, according to modelling by research group RepuTex.

The findings raise doubts about the consistency of the Coalition’s policies, which include vowing to dump the carbon price if it wins office in September while continuing to support the renewable energy target (RET).

Big-FishWind farms are viable at current wholesale power prices including the $23 per tonne carbon price when the renewable energy certificate – valued at about $32 per megawatt-hour – is added in. Strip out the carbon tax, however, and investment in renewable energy would dry up, according to RepuTex’s associate director of research, Bret Harper.

”The carbon price is linked to the renewable energy target,” Mr Harper said. ”For those who support the RET but not the carbon price, there’s a gap in the logic there.”

The federal government last week left the RET settings basically unchanged at 41,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year from 2020. That level will require 7 gigawatts of new renewable capacity to be built between 2014 and 2020, or almost triple the 2.5 GW added during the past decade, Mr Harper said.

Those ambitious growth plans, though, would evaporate if the Coalition succeeds in its pledge to repeal the carbon price without altering other market conditions.

huntThe Coalition’s climate change spokesman, Greg Hunt, said the report was an entirely different issue to renewable energy targets. 

”Not only does the Coalition reject the finding, it is out of line with current industry assessments,” he said.

”The Coalition makes no apology for promising to abolish the carbon tax.  The next election will be a referendum on the carbon tax.

”In particular the finding contradicts claims by others in the industry that Australia is on to track easily achieve and potentially exceed the 20 per cent figure. As the industry makes clear, the RET drives renewable energy not the carbon tax. The Coalition remains committed to the 20 per cent renewable energy target.”

However, assuming the tax is repealed by July 1, 2015, RepuTex predicts the large-scale renewable energy certificate would need to rocket in value to about $85 per mWh to support the RET – much higher than the current penalty price cap of $65.

Retailers would simply pay the penalty, limiting investment in any onshore wind farms not yet financially committed.

”The existing scheme has a penalty price, which is effectively a price cap,” Mr Harper said. ”If you remove the support of the carbon price but you don’t adjust the cap, then you will not see the renewable projects being built.”

Paul Simshauser, chief economist at AGL, agreed the viability of wind farms is linked to both the renewable energy target and the carbon price.

”If you do move that carbon price out, it does mean you need to something to fill the gap for wind farms to retain their profitability,” Dr Simshauser said.

Even with the latest RET review leaving conditions largely unchanged, many projects are on hold as investors ponder future policy changes, particularly with elections set for September 14.

”They can handle uncertainty about price movements involving supply and demand,” Dr Simshauser said. ”But where business and industry really do struggle is when the rules of the game are uncertain.”

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    The Renewable Energy Target has been reached or at least is on the verge of being reached. It could be helped by wiser spending of our money.

    1. RET paid by percentage of actual energy produced. That is if they do not produce 100% of their stated capacity then they only receive a payment relating to the % they actually produce.
    2. No RET handout for the first year of operation.
    3. Solar installations: – Dairy farmers to receive minimum of 50% refund of cost of installing Solar to operate their dairy’s. With a discounted price for any energy used above what their solar produces. This is to help make the industry viable.
    4. Create a more even playing field for ALL industry in Australia, financial assistance to all NOT just one industry, other industries employ more staff than Wind Energy Installations and have the potential to employ even more as they expand.

    An unreliable industry such as Wind Energy cannot be considered more highly than other more effective methods of producing energy where it is needed. It IS possible for more of us to supply almost all our own energy requirements, we just need some help setting it up. This in the end would be more effective than the constant spending on unreliable Wind Energy which has proven itself to be inefficient, costly with each project having a short lifespan.

  2. Terry Conn says:

    It’s perfectly clear why AGL supports the RET, because they are chasing the money ie. wind farms receiving REC’s, gas power plants charging huge amounts for peaking power when there’s no wind and subsidies via the carbon tax for it’s coal fired power stations. Origin energy, however is demonstrating great corporate integrity not wanting to have any part in it. Greg Hunt just refuses to see the cost as a problem and doesn’t care about the peasants in the bush. If he insists on supporting the 20% RET then ‘renewable energy’ should be defined and limited to a technology that produces genuine ‘base load’ power and actually abates GHG emissions. Hunt is proving impenetrable on this issue and one really has to question his reasons why? The original coalition policy did not envisage that the RET meant supporting ‘wind farms’ — it was much broader in its outlook, but unfortunately large scale RET has morphed into just supporting wind farms. The Liberal Party needs to put Hunt in a new paddock and replace him in the portfolio with someone who understands the value of billions of dollars spent on a flawed technology.

Trackbacks

  1. […] STT has raised one or two suspicions about Ian “Macca” Macfarlane’s unseemly connections with his mates at Infigen (aka Babcock & Brown) and we’ve entertained the odd doubt about young Gregory Hunt. […]

  2. […] Adding the cost of a carbon tax and the REC – set to go to $90 – electricity prices are already punishing small business. […]

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