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Support, don't slash the RET

The nation’s green building authority calls on the Abbott Government to recommit to the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

According to the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA’s) Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon, the RET has encouraged and supported diverse energy solutions, and abolishing it could diminish forward investment in renewable energy technologies.

“The Renewable Energy Target has stimulated innovation, set a direction for industry and provided the impetus to invest in new technologies,” Mr Mellon says.

The bi-partisan policy mandates that 20 per cent of Australia's electricity is to be generated from renewable sources by 2020. 

Independent modelling commissioned by the Climate Institute has found that abolishing the RET could diminish investment in renewable energy by almost $11 billion.

“For industry to evolve, it requires standards, benchmarks and targets.  The building code sets the standards, Green Star sets the best practice benchmarks and policies such as the RET set the targets.  Without such targets, industry will lack the incentives to do better,” Mr Mellon explains.

“Australia now has more than 700 energy-efficient, Green Star-rated buildings that combine a range of energy solutions and technologies.  These buildings, on average, consume just a third of the energy used by traditional, non-green buildings.

“We have green schools that complement geothermal energy with hydro power from the grid, offices and bank buildings replete with wind turbines and co-generation plants, and apartments and communities that feature solar panels and tap into precinct-wide tri-generation systems.  The RET has helped to encourage investment in technologies that are increasingly integrated into buildings.

“True sustainability sits at the ‘sweet spot’ of good behaviour, good design and good technology.  It’s not enough to incentivise good behaviour and good design.  We need good technology – and the RET has been a driver of innovation by setting our direction.  We can’t afford to get off track.”