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RET Negotiations - On Again, Off Again? - Energy Matters

Apr 1st 2015 at 8:01 PM

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It's been reported the Federal Government wishes to restart negotiations with Labor on the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and is willing to budge on its previous stance. But is this latest round already over before it really began?The Clean Energy Council cautiously welcomed the initial news."We look forward to working with all major parties towards a positive outcome for the RET on behalf of 21,000 renewable energy workers and hundreds of businesses whose future remains very uncertain," said CEC Acting CEO Kane Thornton.The Australian Solar Council wasn't so optimistic; stating it was pleased to learn the Government had written to the Labor Party, but was horrified when it saw the details.


"Instead of offering a reasonable starting point for discussions, the Government has only rehashed old furphies and confirmed its radical anti-renewables agenda. The Government’s letter showed it is persisting in its efforts to destroy solar and renewables," said Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes.According to Mr. Grimes, Labor has already rejected the most recent approach.Meanwhile, the war on the sidelines rages on between RET supporters and opposers - and the industry continues to suffer.The Guardian reports Melbourne’s leading renewable energy companies have slashed staff levels by nearly ten percent over the past twelve months as a result of uncertainty in the industry.


Environmental group Friends Of The Earth will be calling on Victorian Labor to implement a state-based renewables target now Labor is in power.A recent survey indicated 78 per cent of respondents considered it was "very important" or " important" for the state government to invest in renewable energy. A recent Climate Council report states Victoria currently has the worst policy environment for renewables in the countryIn other RET related news, four major industrial power users in Tasmania have been called out on skewing public perceptions and claiming the RET costs them $20 million a year combined in terms of productivity.


A new report from The Australia Institute states the Renewable Energy Target is instead "a big win for Tasmania, drawing in a net benefit of more than $100 million per year.""Clearly, claims made against the RET by industry are not free of self-interest," said Matt Grudnoff, a Senior Economist at the Australia Institute. "They should be scrutinised the same as other voices in the national RET discussion."

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