Confirmation by the Australian Industry Group that the Renewable Energy Target was not putting up prices for industrial energy users has cleared away the last remaining excuse for cuts to the successful Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, the Australian Wind Alliance said today.
In a statement to the media, AI Group Chief Executive Innes Willox made clear that the effect of the RET on power prices for his members was neutral, as the cost of the scheme was offset by decreases in the wholesale price of electricity from larger supplies of cheap renewable power.
"We have judged that reducing the RET is likely to cost energy users as much in higher wholesale prices as it saves them in direct RET charges,” said Mr Willox.
“Cutting the target below this point [the current fixed 41,000 gigawatt hour target] would not advance energy users’ interests,” concluded Mr Willox.
“This is a welcome contribution from a respected organisation that confirms what we’ve known for some time – wind power is keeping the price of power low,” said Andrew Bray, National Coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance.
“The AI Group’s members are large energy users who have plenty to lose if power prices go up. Their message to the government is clear – don’t cut the Renewable Energy Target.
“The greatest threat to electricity prices going forward is the steeply rising price of gas.
“If you want to keep electricity prices low in the future, build more wind and solar.
These comments come as the RET Review panel received over 22,000 submissions in support of the Renewable Energy Target, including over 400 from farmers and wind workers wanting to see wind energy thrive in regional Australia.
“There’s huge support in country Australia for new wind energy projects and the boost they deliver to regional economies.
“If the government made cuts to the RET, it would threaten up to $18 billion of new investment in regional Australia at a time when it can least afford it.
“The government has no popular mandate for cuts to such a successful program.
“The existing coal and gas companies are the only ones who would benefit from cuts to the RET. It would be unfair to the rest of us if the government cut renewable energy,” concluded Mr Bray.
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