Coalition Renewable Energy Target myths busted
We busted three of the biggest myths the Coalition is using to justify scrapping the policy which has helped so many Aussies go solar...
At the start of March well over 1,000 Solar Citizens wrote to their Coalition representatives about the future of the Renewable Energy Target, urging them to fix the mess they created when they broke their election promise and tried to slash the Target in half.
Unfortunately Coalition MPs and Senators have not bothered (or not been allowed?) to provide their own replies and instead have fired off thousands of near identical form letter responses full to the brim with myths and mistruths.
COALITION MYTH 1
“the RET is not operating as intended and many in the renewable energy industry agree that the target is neither sustainable nor achievable.”
The RET was operating exactly as intended. Under the policy renewable energy in Australia has boomed. Here is an article that explains how the overwhelming success of the Target is really the only reason they want to cut it back.
It is not true that the Target was not achievable or sustainable. As the Clean Energy Council explains here the renewable energy industry has a long track record of delivering targets ahead of time and at lower cost than anticipated. The only thing holding the industry back is the uncertainty clouding the policy.
COALITION MYTH 2
“there is now an oversupply of electricity generation capacity in Australia. Because of the oversupply, new large scale renewable energy projects are not being built.”
The 'oversupply' argument is a furphy. Here is an article that explains why we are hearing from opponents of renewable energy that there is an ‘oversupply’ of electricity in Australia. Really the issue is that more wind and solar threatens to displace existing power generators because it comes in at a lower cost.
The freeze in investment that is stopping renewable energy projects from being built is not due to ‘oversupply’, it is due to the uncertainty created when Abbott introduced the Warburton review. Here is an open letter from major renewable energy investors explaining the damaging implications of uncertainty created by announcements of plans to cut the RET
COALITION MYTH 3
"After abruptly walking away from the talks late last year, the Labor Party has returned to the negotiating table, but has yet to put forward any meaningful alternative to improve the RET... The Coalition...wants to fix the scheme to encourage growth over the next five years."
The Abbott Government is trying to pin the blame on the Labor Party for the uncertainty they have created around renewable energy policy. Last year, the Abbott Government came out with a proposal to slash the RET effectively in half and their latest proposal hasn’t shifted very far from that - see here.
The Coalition say they want to 'fix the scheme' and get to bipartisanship but their position represents a huge step backwards for solar and other renewables. The fact is, the scheme wasn't broken until they tried to slash it dramatically. The best way they could fix it is to restate their support for the full 41,000 Gwh target!
Did you receive an email containing these myths from your Coalition MP or Senator? Help us hold them to account by tagging your representative in the comments on our Facebook post.
For more myth-busting around the Coalition's stance on the Renewable Energy Target see this RenewEconomy piece: "The Abbott Government's 10 biggest renewable energy whoppers"