Solar boom ready to go with RET commitment

A new report identifies huge potential investment in solar power, not just wind, is dependent on a stable, strong large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

The Large Scale Solar and the RET report also suggests that a 40% target would provide an earlier tipping point to trigger major solar investment.

“Since coming to office, the Abbott Government has given the renewable energy industry very mixed signals, and as a result there has been an 88% collapse of investment, costing jobs and reducing energy supply,” Australia Institute Executive Director, Dr Richard Denniss said.

“The Prime Minister said ‘We absolutely support renewable energy’ in question time on Tuesday. But no other industry which the government ‘absolutely supports’ could expect such poor treatment?

The report shows that large scale solar technology is rapidly developing, creating huge opportunities for a sun-drenched continent to become a world leader. But government policy is rendering Australian solar projects worthless, and driving potential investment away.

“The ‘tipping point’ for large scale solar investment without a strong RET is after 2030, but the government’s own modelling shows that the RET brings this forward to 2018.

“The Government’s own modelling shows the best thing you can do to reduce power prices in the long term is to invest in renewable energy.”

The paper was presented on Tuesday, to the Renewable Energy Roundtable of Industry leaders facilitated by former Liberal Party leader, John Hewson. Senator Ricky Muir also attended the roundtable. 

“The industry voice is clear – if they don’t get a strong RET soon, we’ll see all of the potential investment and jobs go where they are welcome. They also need the certainty of a political commitment to the policy going forward.

“A 40% target would provide the boost in confidence that would likely see a surge of large-scale solar projects.

“Any government that is concerned about ‘intergenerational theft’ should be backing a strong RET,” Denniss said.

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