September 20 (Renewables Now) - Australia’s new energy minister this week confirmed that there will be no new policy to replace the renewable energy target (RET) in the next decade.
“The truth of the matter is the renewable energy target is going to wind down from 2020, it reaches its peak in 2020, and we won't be replacing that with anything,” energy minister Angus Taylor said on Tuesday. The focus of the Morrison government will be on lowering power prices.
Customers need to come first. That’s why this Government is focused on getting prices down while keeping the lights on. My opinion piece in the @FinancialReview today. https://t.co/XberBB92JY pic.twitter.com/meHQkbOFQa— Angus Taylor MP (@AngusTaylorMP) September 18, 2018
A recent update by the Clean Energy Regulator shows Australia now has 3,024 MW of RET-accredited power plants, 4,960 MW of committed capacity and 849 MW of probable capacity. Thus, it is expected to significantly surpass the 6,400 MW of renewables needed to reach the 2020 RET of 33,000 GWh renewable power. With no new clean energy policy beyond 2020, however, the future of renewable energy investment in Australia is uncertain.
The technology-neutral National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which was previously planned to replace the RET, has been ditched. It included a 26% emission reduction by 2030, which, according to Taylor, is to be achieved without additional effort.
In June the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program said the 26%-28% target is “inadequate according to any recognised principle-based approach”. The Australian think tank's report says that a 45% target for 2030 would be “the bare minimum” necessary for the country to be considered to be making an equitable contribution to the achievement of the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.