Ministers for the Department of Industry and Science
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Government focussed on repairing the RET

16 March 2015

Joint media release with the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP

The Australian Government is determined to restore a Renewable Energy Target that works as intended, to encourage investment in renewable energy and to maintain Australia’s diverse energy mix.

The existing RET is broken. Both the Opposition and the clean energy industry know this.

Since the RET was introduced in its current form six years ago market conditions have changed and there is now an oversupply of electricity.

The RET is now out of step with the energy and consumer market in which it operates, leading to investment uncertainty.

The Government wants to recalibrate the RET to better reflect market conditions and to ensure renewable energy continues to play a role in Australia’s energy mix.

We have been in good faith negotiations with the Opposition for several months now and continue our open door policy to resolve uncertainty.

The Government remains committed to the original overall Renewable Energy Target of 45,000 gigawatt hours, but the composition of the target should better reflect the market and the way Australians are using power.

Our proposal would see at least 23 per cent of Australia’s energy come from renewables – 15,000 gigawatt hours in existing renewable energy generation, 31,000 gigawatt hours under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and approximately 14,000 gigawatt hours under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

As the Government has made clear throughout the negotiations, we are proposing to exempt emissions-intensive trade-exposed sectors (EITEs), we won’t make any changes to small-scale solar and we will also remove the requirement for regular two-yearly reviews of the RET to give the industry the certainty it needs to move ahead.

The Opposition must decide if it wants to play a constructive role in fixing the RET, or continue the stonewalling that is standing in the way of a sustainable future for renewable energy.

Media contacts:

Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070
Mr Hunt's office 02 6277 7920