“Keeping the Renewable Energy Target (RET) unchanged will lock in the problems of the RET and add costs to consumers,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“It is disappointing that a bipartisan deal to correct the RET, so that it might actually deliver some wind investment over the coming years and avoid the risk of higher electricity prices to consumers, could not be reached.
“Current subdued wholesale electricity prices and low renewable energy certificate (RECs) prices will not cover the costs of building new wind investments. This risks the scheme hitting the penalty price, which would see electricity consumers paying an effective $93 per REC, with no additional investment in renewable energy.
“The Opposition is taking a gamble – it is locking in a broken scheme putting at risk higher electricity prices for consumers, for the short term glory to be seen as the saviours of the RET.
“All too often, by all sides of politics, the longer-term interests of the country are being sidelined by short-term political objectives.
“The Business Council historically has not supported the RET but we recognised that once the scheme was in place the best outcome was to work constructively on improving the design of the scheme – not scrap it altogether given the risks to foregone investment.
“We have reached a compromise position, based on the evidence and facts before us, that the best outcome for consumers and business, and for the immediate future of the renewable energy industry, is for the RET to be adjusted to represent a true 20 per cent of electricity demand by 2020.
“It is disappointing that a bipartisan deal to do the same could not be reached. Ultimately it will be households, business and the renewable industry who will pay the price for a policy that is broken,” Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (02) 8224 9207 • Mobile 0409 550 578