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Renewable investment at risk


Source, SMH 19 May 2014

The lack of bipartisan support for clear policies to tackle climate change will make it difficult to justify further investment in renewable energy, a government panel has been told.

In a submission to the government panel that is reviewing the renewable energy target, the Grattan Institute called for existing investment in the sector to be "grandfathered".

But with the Abbott government favouring a direct action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the existing carbon tax, this has created "unmanageable risk" for investors in the renewable energy sector, it has told the government. "A carefully crafted expansion of the renewable energy target to include non-renewable sources of energy could form the basis for a credible long-term climate change policy, with bipartisan support," it said.

Government policy is for renewable energy to supply one-fifth of the country's electricity by 2020, although declining demand may result in renewables exceeding this target.

This possibility along with the cost of renewable energy has prompted the federal government to review the existing policy.

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