You may be aware that there has been much turmoil with regards to the Renewable Energy Target. None of this has been good for renewable energy. In case you have struggled with the bucket loads of contradictory media on this issue – read on for a concise summary.
At long last, the Government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), has reached its conclusion with the passage by the Parliament of amendments to the RET legislation. Importantly, the amendments were supported by both major political parties returning bipartisan support to this legislation first implemented in 2001. While it is regrettable that the legislation reduces the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) to 33 Terrawatt-hours (TWh) in 2020, this is still an 80% increase from this year’s target of 18 TWh. Therefore, the amended legislation requires that we grow large scale renewables by 80% in just 4 ½ years which is good for the industry.
The other key point was the axing of the two-yearly reviews which tended to stall investment as industry became concerned when ‘the rules’ could change every two years. So while it is not the best outcome, it is a workable one that should see new wind farms built in the foreseeable future. One large wind farm has already been committed to construction – the 75 wind turbine Arrarat Wind farm in Western Victoria. Return of bipartisan support for the RET legislation will see over 5,000MW of other large scale renewable energy projects committed to construction through the remainder of this decade.