CCA RET review pursues stability
Wednesday, 19 December 2012

SEA welcomes most of the recommendations from the Climate Change Authority in its report to the Minister today on the review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The report has wisely resisted calls from the fossil fuel lobby to dilute support for the Renewable Energy Target and recommended that it be maintained at 41,000 GWh of renewable energy generation by 2020. Keeping a fixed generation target helps provide the policy stability that has long been sought by the renewable energy industry.

Among the other positive recommendations is the increase of the review period of the RET to a 4 year cycle. This will also ensure better stability for the renewable energy market as it seeks to attract the necessary level of investment to meet the 2020 target.

In addition, the retention of separate Large Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and Small Scale Renewable Energy Schemes (SRES), with the latter remaining uncapped, will maintain the integrity of the RET in supporting Australia's renewable energy future.

Recognising that the cost of s olar PV is consistently falling, a staged reduction of the deeming period for SRES systems beginning in 2017 is a conservative mechanism to help control future RET costs. The CCA's suggested process gives businesses appropriate time to plan for the future. The proposed changes are a significant improvement on the CCA's original suggestion for reducing the RET multiplier.

"Stability and certainty are very important for the industry and we are pleased the CCA has taken these steps, particularly in the face of strong opposition from the fossil fuel lobby," says SEA CEO Kirsten Rose.

Disappointingly though, is the report's recommendation that the SRES transition cap be reduced from 100kW to 10kW capacity for small scale renewable energy systems. While the CCA recommends further stakeholder discussion on the exact transition point, SEA is concerned this will compromise both the uptake of commercial self-generation from renewables by business and the long term investment attractiveness of large scale generation from wind and solar farms.

"While we have some concerns with the report, overall SEA is pleased with the measured response taken by the CCA and we look forward to contributing further to the issues raised, particularly the proposed reduction of the SRES cap , " says Ms Rose.