Blog | 2nd Mar, 2010

Government to fix the RET – now let’s look to expand it!

Last Friday the Federal Government announced proposed changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) that will unlock billions of dollars of investment into renewables in Australia.

When the government introduced the RET last year to guarantee that Australia would source 20 percent of it’s electricity from renewable energy by 2020, a number of design flaws were built into the scheme meaning billions of dollars of investment in large scale renewables like wind farms could be delayed for up to five years. In fact, the hold-ups were so serious that renewable energy companies in Australia looked like they may have to lay off workers to get by.

For the past 6 months Environment Victoria has been campaigning for improvements to the scheme, and thanks to the changes now proposed by the Rudd government, Australia should start to see a rollout of renewable energy projects across the country.

The new deal, that still needs to pass through parliament, would effectively split the RET in two with the majority of the target reserved for large scale projects, and the remaining share for small-scale investment. This means that investing in small scale renewables will no longer crowd-out the large scale projects, as was previously the case. Even better, the section reserved for small scale renewables isn’t capped – meaning that if households across Australia want to invest in solar panels on their roofs above and beyond the government’s target amount, they’ll still get support through Renewable Energy Certificates.

So, as long as the Coalition and others support the legislative changes through the parliament, things will be looking up for renewables in Australia!