It’s time for RET facts

16 July 2012

In response to Des Moore’s letter (“Shelve RET policies”, July 12) about the renewable energy target (RET), it should be noted that: Wind energy now supplies more than a quarter of South Australia’s electricity needs (Source: Australian Energy Market Operator AEMO).

Not a single megawatt of generation has been built in that state to “back up” this wind energy (AEMO). Wholesale power prices in South Australia have been reduced materially as a direct result of wind energy investment (Essential Services Commission of South Australia ESCOSA).

The large-scale RET adds only $3 a month to the average household electricity bill (Independent Pricing Regulatory Tribunal, IPART). Recent regulated electricity price increases have been largely caused by increased prices of “poles and wires” businesses, particularly state owned ones.

The impact of the large-scale RET is minimal (IPART, ESCOSA). Both the Labor and Coalition policies have supported the RET for more than a decade. The Australian-only component of wind farm investment in capital goods and services has exceeded $4 billion over that period, providing strong economic and employment benefits in regional Australia (SKM). A biennial RET review was legislated in 2010.

Its purpose is to review the efficacy of the legislation in delivering its objective. The objective itself is not up for review (RET Act).

By Miles George, Managing Director, Infigen Energy. This article appeared in the Australian Financial Review on 16 July 2012.