Get rid of RET: ACA

AUSTRALIA cannot afford to maintain the renewable energy target and should phase it out, the Australian Coal Association says.
Get rid of RET: ACA Get rid of RET: ACA Get rid of RET: ACA Get rid of RET: ACA Get rid of RET: ACA

The Emu Downs Wind Farm, Western Australia

Lou Caruana

In a statement ACA said the RET was not addressing a demonstrable market failure that was not already being dealt with by the carbon tax.

“Instead of encouraging research and development in a range of low-emissions technologies, the RET effectively picks winners by subsidising the deployment of mature and expensive renewable technologies,” it said.

“The mandated expansion of these renewables imposes a hidden cost on consumers, as wind and solar energy must be backed up by conventional fuel sources such as coal, gas or hydro.

“This is because wind and solar are intermittent and cannot be stored at large scale for future use.

“The predominance of coal in Australia’s electricity mix explains why we have long enjoyed relatively affordable electricity by international standards.”

According to the federal government’s own figures, household electricity prices in Australia are well below the OECD average, once differences in exchange rates are factored in.

The same official figures reveal that households in countries with a relatively high share of wind and solar – including Germany, Spain and Denmark – pay around twice as much for their electricity as Australian consumers.

Australian Energy Market Commission chairman John Pierce said: “The reliability of more traditional forms of generation must be recognised.

“Wind on its own cannot deliver a secure supply of electricity.”

The New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal shared the view that the RET could no longer be justified on environmental grounds, ACA said.

“The evidence continues to mount that the RET is a costly and unnecessary policy,” it said.

“It’s time for it to go.”

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