The Australian parliament on Tuesday passed the legislation that reduces the large-scale Renewable Energy Target RET (LRET) for 2020 to 33,000 GWh from 41,000 GWh previously.
The move, expected to end the country’s renewable energy crisis, follows the signing of a deal between the federal government party and the opposition Labour party on a compromise target for large-scale renewables.
The RET drama began in February 2014 when the Abbott Government appointed global warming skeptic Dick Warburton to review both the LRET and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). The review resulted in a huge drop in investments and created significant uncertainty in the sector.
“While this has been a challenging process, and we are disappointed by the level of reduction of the target for large-scale renewable energy, the passage of this legislation provides the platform for a doubling of renewables over the next five years,” commented Kane Thornton, CEO of the Clean Energy Council.
The new legislation also eliminates the mandatory reviews of the scheme every two years and ensures that the small-scale renewables scheme will not be amended. Thornton noted that this is “great news for thousands of people working in the rooftop solar and solar hot water sectors”.
The step will pave the way for over AUD 40 billion (USD 31bn/EUR 27.6bn) of investments in the sector, he added.