There has been news released today that the Federal government Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has stated that the Renewable Energy Target (R.E.T.) will not be scrapped. The R.E.T. has been directly responsible for the uptake of solar panels systems over the last 8 years and the solar industry has been extremely concerned that that current review of the R.E.T. chaired by climate sceptic Dick Warburton will most likely recommend eliminating or significantly changing the R.E.T.
Pressure From Carbon Based Energy Producers?
There has been considerable speculation in the media that the coal and gas based power producers stand to gain the most from a potential abolition of the R.E.T. As we reported recently, there has been evolutionary changes in the Australian energy industry over recent years and solar power has been the main contributor to these changed. Adelaide now has 25 percent of homes with solar panels installed and clearly this is impacting the States’ energy profile. As ‘traditional’ energy producers (read CO2 based) are seeing their business models impacted by solar power, both at at residential and commercial scale they could be looking to lobby the Federal Government to reduce renewable energy targets.
Political Will To Change The R.E.T.?
Should the current review of the R.E.T. recommend major changes the question will be whether or not the changes would get through the Senate. The Greens, Palmer United Party, the A.L.P. and other independents have already expressed their preference for leaving the R.E.T. as it is and the Government could well face considerable opposition in pushing through changes to the R.E.T. We will update the situation once the R.E.T. review is completed and announced.