Aug 18, 2014

With friends like these, the RET never stood a chance

Those charged with "reviewing" the Renewable Energy Target were actually told to look at killing it.

The Australian Financial Review, confirmed the worst fears of the renewable energy industry in a front-page story this morning, reporting that the panel charged with reviewing the Renewable Energy Target had been “instructed” by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to look at ways to shut down the scheme.

Shutting down the RET would bring to an end a $20 billion industry, cost thousands of jobs and force household and business bills to soar. But that is what the government has wanted from the beginning. It appointed a panel composed of climate sceptics, pro-nuclear advocates and fossil fuel lobbyists.

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17 thoughts on “With friends like these, the RET never stood a chance

  1. Bart Tony

    God help us from this idiotic government that never lets the facts get in the way of their right wing ideology.

  2. Mark Duffett

    Isn’t this the same Giles Parkinson who has been loudly and repeatedly trumpeting renewable energy grid parity and the ‘death spiral’ for scale-efficient centralised electricity generation as done deals for quite some time now? If that’s the case, why is even the threat of RET removal proving so apocalyptic for the renewables industry? Something’s not adding up.

  3. JohnB

    What Mark D said. For example,

    Paid by the word, Giles? Content quality not relevant?

    That said, I do consider the RET to be a long term commitment of both sides of the House. If TA wrecks it now, he will also be wrecking the Australian Government’s credibility as a corporate partner.

    I can hear the distant cries of “sovereign risk” stirring, even though a more appropriate term is “country risk”. Abbott may be about to be taught an expensive lesson, with the tab picked up by 23 million Australians.

  4. nullifidian

    Mark Duffett’s comments make sense only if a) AGW is a socialist plot, and b) the coal industry receives no subsidies from various Australian governments. Aside from tax breaks and direct assistance, the coal burning industries avoid entirely paying for the adverse health effects due to particulate and gaseous pollution.

  5. DF

    The coal industry forcing out the renewables reminds me of the story of General Motors and public transport in the US.

    As the King of Id said: Remember the Golden Rule. He who has the gold makes the rules.

  6. tonyfunnywalker

    The lunacy that the Abbott Government and its puppet status are once again exposed with Murdoch and the IPA calling the tune. The loss of the repeal of 18C and the failure to sell the budget has enraged the IPA and not to repeal the RET would be the political end of Abbott.
    News Ltd is already canvassing a reshuffle or leadership spill.
    Hockey and Hunt are already sidelined and bound for the backbench as Abbott with selected henchmen taking over, while painting both as procrastinators and lazy thinkers this challenging Australia’s sovereign risk status by not ” getting out of the way” originally of the coal and gas miners and now the power generators power retailers and their bankers.
    The banks are also a part of this as their ROI on investments would evaporate with the fall in the wholesale price of power over the next 20 years. The banks already winners with the “Spivs Charter” being implemented and the threat of a RC behind them were pivotal in Abbott’s decision.
    The fact that billions of future investment opportunities in renewables have already moved offshore – and that the local renewables industry is now bankrupted matters little, that 21000 jobs join the dole queue as installer companies close the doors is unprecedented.
    The move to empower solar panel owners at the ballot box has begun – that’s a base of 1.5 million households conned by Abbott and his promise to protect the RET.
    With the RET goes the emissions target and the need for the Direct Action and the end of Hunt’s Ministry as environmental approvals have already been devolved to the States.
    I have long blogged on the transparent and real danger of electing Abbott without a mandated set of policies. Abbotts’ populism and the LNP lack their own policy agenda (beyond 3 word slogans) and the lamentable lack of intellect amongst the Ministry to realise the consequence of their actions.
    The Government speaks of competitiveness – has conferences to discuss it – today’s decision will now guarantee Australia will boast the most expensive power amongst the developed industrial nations. Manufacturers, like Blue Scope already threatening to move overseas with the sovereign risk to new investment in manufacturing from our newly signed Trade Agreements will evaporate too.
    When you have people like Maurice Newman as the PM’s economic advisor and Bolt /Jones his environment gurus; Australia is doomed to recession until this government is removed; hopefully before it is too late and the hole in the economy is too big to repair.

  7. Bill Hilliger

    Shutting down the RET would bring to an end a $20 billion industry, cost thousands of jobs and force household and business bills to soar. rAbbott looking after the well being of the Australian sheeple.

  8. graybul

    ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND HOUSEHOLDS are watching VERY CLOSELY! Taking into consideration University Students, Unemployed Youth, Pensioners, Low Income car Drivers et al. Oh Oh forgot . . NSW Liberal Voters who have lost Representatives and been deprived of a vote next State Election . . TOGETHER, that represent a very pissed-off Electorate come next Federal Election.
    PS It is the LOCAL MEMBER ie Backbencher . . that will be ‘front and centre’!! PPS Everyone interested in Solar . . watch “Four Corners” tonight.

  9. fractious

    @ nullifidian – agreed, and that’s not even counting the irreversible loss ($value unidentified) of water catchments cleaned for free by relatively intact vegetation communities (including soil biodiversity), soil formation and retention ($value not completely identified), effects on downstream communities (including but not limited to marine ecosystems, human communities) and ecotourism as a direct result of yet more open-cut and longwall coal mines being granted consent. Even if some want to contend the science of climate change, they cannot deny the obvious and direct adverse consequences of continuing to approve more and more mining.

  10. ananth raj

    Renewable energy target is too narrow. The aim is to reduce co2 emissions so targets should be geared to a clean energy target (uranium and gas are clean). Creating a false economy for renewables is as much a waste as the direct action policy. Let industries prove themselves as viable on their own including solar, wind etc. if they aren’t competitive then they should die a natural death.

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