WINDFARMS have vowed to fight a rearguard action against changes to the renewable energy target as a potential plummet in the carbon price to $12 a tonne in 2015 raises new fears that the renewable projects would be uneconomic.
Clean Energy Council deputy chief executive Kane Thornton said it was all the more important the RET was “left alone” for the moment.
Some major business groups want a scheduled review of the RET by the Climate Change Authority to scrap the target, but Mr Thornton warned that “to change the scheme now goes against everything the entire business community has been calling for and continues to, which is stability in the key policy settings”.
Danish renewables giant Vestas shares Mr Thornton’s concerns. “The 20 per cent renewable energy target is very important for wind-energy projects as it helps to deliver business case certainty,” Vestas director of policy and government relations Ken McAlpine said.
While the government’s decision to scrap the floor price has prompted warnings investors would have trouble justifying extra spending on clean-energy technologies when the carbon price is so low, companies in the sector yesterday insisted the cost of wind energy would fall as the cost of electricity from fossil fuels increased.
Mr McAlpine said the government announcement was unlikely to have a significant impact on wind-energy projects in the short term or the long term, and that predicting prices in three years was very difficult.
As the local arm of a Spanish renewables empire, Acciona Australia has few qualms about the government’s decision, describing it as a positive move for the local clean-energy sector.