RET legislation: the fossils cling on for dear life

August 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

The renewable energy target bill has now been passed in Parliament, legislating that 20 percent  of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020. The scheme works by compelling electricity retailers to buy electricity from renewable sources.

Investment in electricity from tidal and wave technologies will get a boost, but the geothermal industry is voicing disappointment that no portion of the target was set aside for it. Considering the huge potential of geothermal energy in Australia, this is a kick in the teeth for large scale renewable energy production.

Industry has again put out its hand, demanding yet more government money. Under new concessions demanded by the Coalition, the number of industries to be compensated for higher electricity prices was increased from three to about 40. Once again the government kneels down before the already massively subsidised fossil fuel industry.

Incredibly, electricity from coal seam methane gas – a coal mining waste product – has been classified a renewable energy source and will earn rewards under the scheme. So coal miners are given renewable credits for burning fossil fuels.

While the government will now be patting itself on the back and promoting its green credentials to anyone willing to listen, there is a long, long way to go before Australia is free from the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry. And a renewable energy target wouldn’t even be necessary if the market was set up to accurately reflect the true cost of carbon emissions. But that day seems a long way off.

Entry filed under: renewable energy. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Switch off Coal. Switch on Renewables. September 12-13 Victoria governments black balloons 65,000 a minute

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