Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Australia
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described wind farms as "visually awful" saying he wishes the Howard government, of which he was a member, had never implemented the Renewable Energy Target (RET) policy.
“The RET was never designed to force stuff out; it was designed to cause the future mix to be different. With lower demand, what it’s trying to do is force stuff out and that’s a very different outcome than making the future choices different.”
Wind farm developers are concerned reviewing the Renewable Energy Target every two years will reduce the appetite for investment in the industry. The Federal Government announced it had reduced the RET from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000, a figure with bipartisan support.
Last week, global funds manager Industry Funds Management, put the renewable energy company, which has wind farm projects in south-west Victoria, up for sale.
The new inquiry – the latest in a long list of investigations into renewable energy and wind power – is proposed by crossbench senators David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day and Liberal Chris Back, all of whom have argued for the abolition of the renewable energy target, which underpins wind energy in Australia.
Steve Garner, general manager at Keppel Prince, said the cause of the redundancies was “purely and simply the RET and all the uncertainty about where it is heading.” “We need people to invest in windfarms before we can build them. Nobody is investing in windfarms and they won’t until there is a deal between the major parties,” Garner said.
Miners have moved to counter arguments from the renewable energy industry that the target scheme is lowering electricity prices, releasing figures showing it is costing millions of dollars and comprising up to 15 per cent of total electricity bills.
Heavyweight fund manager IFM Investors has taken a $685 million write-down on its Pacific Hydro renewable energy business due to the adverse impact of the Abbott government's Warburton review, weaker electricity demand in Australia, and tax changes in Chile.
Australia’s investment in renewable energy projects has slumped below that of Algeria, Thailand and Myanmar, new figures have shown, with the sector “paralysed” by the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target.
Most of the wind farms are “on hold” because of the federal government’s decision to review the Renewable Energy Target — with the likelihood that Canberra’s support for renewables will be scaled back, which has effectively frozen financing.
A negotiated position could mean scaling back to a “real” 20% target or pushing back the target for large-scale projects while leaving small-scale production, such as solar panels on house rooftops, in place. The clean energy sector has warned that any amendment to the RET would be disastrous for the industry.
The future is unclear for landholders with existing wind turbines as the federal government considers the recommendations of a review into the Renewable Energy Target scheme. The review recommends a halt to the scheme it claims is costing taxpayers $422 billion in industry subsidies.
Because the price of RECs is about the same as the electricity price per megawatt/hour, renewables generators are deriving as much revenue from selling RECs as they are from selling power to the National Electricity Market.
It is a touch ironic that it has taken the abolition of the carbon tax to highlight just what a pernicious bit of work it was. More than even Tony Abbott’s labelling of it as a big, bad tax. ...according to the federal government, the average family will benefit by $550 annually.
Cutting the renewable energy target could bankrupt existing wind farms and lead to legal action against the commonwealth government, energy companies have warned.
"Scrapping the carbon tax is a foundation of the government's economic action strategy," said Abbott, who once said evidence blaming mankind for climate change was "absolute crap". "A useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families' cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment is finally gone," he added.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is likely to be directed away from lending to wind farms in favour of programs that support the Coalition’s “direct action” plan such as energy-efficiency schemes and leasing for solar hot water systems.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott reintroduced legislation to the Australian Parliament on Monday that would repeal a carbon tax that the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters have to pay. ...With new senators to take their seats on July 7, the bills are expected to be passed.
Windfarm owners say the head of Tony Abbott's renewable energy review recently told them they were foolish to “build a whole business model on government largesse”, raising fears he will recommend a severe winding back of the renewable energy target.
The renewable energy target is subsidising technologies that are already widely used around the world and is at odds with the Abbott government’s crackdown on corporate welfare, according to Queensland’s biggest electricity generator.