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Reducing the RET a retrograde step, says GBCA

Reducing the Renewable Energy Target is a retrograde step, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

In a joint statement issued yesterday, Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, and Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, outlined the Australian Government’s position that it will “support a Renewable Energy Target that represents a real 20 per cent of electricity production in Australia.”

However, this would result in a ‘floating’ RET, effectively slashing the amount of renewable energy generated in 2020 from 41,000 Gigawatt hours to around 26,000 Gigawatt hours.

“We are disappointed with the Australian Government’s position on the Renewable Energy Target,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

“The RET has supported investment in renewable energy solutions across Australia, contributing to reduced emissions intensity in our national energy market and reducing energy bills for building owners and tenants alike.

“It has encouraged more than 15,000 businesses to invest in solar power which has, in turn, supported more than 13,000 jobs, benefitting the Australian economy and boosting our international competitiveness.

“Many of the 770 Green Star-rated building projects around Australia have invested in renewable energy solutions.  Future investment in renewable energy depends on RET support in the form of upfront or annual renewable energy rebates.  Any significant change to the RET will put future renewable energy projects at risk.

“The RET is a vital part of a coordinated approach to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.  A range of complementary measures is necessary if Australia is to meet and exceed the agreed target of unconditionally reducing emissions by five per cent compared with 2000 levels by 2020.

“Reducing the RET will severely hamper Australia’s ability to operate - and stay competitive - within an increasingly low-carbon global economy,” Mr Mellon concludes.