Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Abbott Government killing Australia's sustainable energy future

Australia’s investment in renewable energy projects has slumped below that of Algeria, Thailand and Myanmar, new figures have shown, with the sector “paralysed” by the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target.
Just $193m was invested in new large-scale clean energy projects in the third quarter of 2014, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Investment in the year to date is $238m.
This represents a massive 70% slump on 2013 investment and has resulted in Australia slipping from the world’s 11th largest investor in clean energy to 31st in 2014.
This ranking is below Algeria, Myanmar, Thailand and Uruguay. By comparison, Canada has invested $US3.1bn in large clean energy projects so far in 2014.
The slowdown in renewable energy investment is pinned squarely by Bloomberg on the government’s review of the RET, which mandates that 41,000 gigawatt hours of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020.
A recent review of the RET by businessman Dick Warburton found that although it has created jobs and driven investment, it should either be suspended or shut down completely.
The government has yet to formally respond to the report, instead holding talks with Labor on a “compromise” position that may see the RET altered in some way without being scrapped entirely. Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party all oppose any change to the RET.
Kobad Bhavnagri, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, told Guardian Australia that the renewables sector is “in the doldrums.”
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

“The government’s position has caused this, it has had some pretty strong anti-renewables rhetoric, particularly anti-wind, and wants to close certain clean energy programs,” he said. “The review has been particularly protracted. The industry was fearful the recommendations would be extreme and they were. It has been shattering.
“I think the government has backed itself into a corner because the Warburton review lacks credibility. I don’t think it’s in Labor’s interest to agree to any changes to the target.”……..

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