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.
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Investment in regional Australia from new wind energy projects is uncertain after the government announced that the panel to review the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will be made up primarily of big business representatives.
"Look, the Renewable Energy Target is - it's corporate welfare on a massive scale directed towards the renewable sector. I don't know why anyone would have any level of sympathy for businesses that - they don't employ many people, that they don't export anything and they've surreptitiously imposed these massive costs on energy consumers for the sake of lining their own profits."
With the carbon tax potentially to be scrapped when the new Senate sits after July, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and other senior Coalition figures have increasingly set their sights on the mandated target for renewable energy, blaming it for forcing up power prices.
Maurice Newman also says climate change policies driven by "scientific delusion" have been a major factor in the collapse of Australia's manufacturing sector. Mr Newman said protection of climate change policies and the renewable energy industry by various state governments smacked of a "cover-up". Mr Newman's comments follow those of Dow Chemicals chairman and chief executive Andrew Liveris, who said Australia was losing its natural advantage of abundant and cheap energy.