Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Australia / New Zealand
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.
The changes to the commission came as the government pursued plans to wind up the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, created by Labor to fund renewable energy projects that would otherwise struggle to get commercial backing. The Coalition has written to the chair of the corporation instructing that no further loans be written.
Modelling by Reputex climate analytics, commissioned by the environment group WWF-Australia, found that the money set aside by the Coalition to buy abatement was likely to fall short by $5.9bn a year between 2015 and 2020, or between $20bn and $35bn in total.
Data from the Australian Energy Market Operator showed that on July 4, when the Macarthur, Portland and Lake Bonney wind farms shut down at the same time, there were no blackouts over four states because coal-fired power stations picked up the load in seconds. "The back-up coal was being burnt anyway," Mr Cumming said. "The wind farms were not abating any greenhouse gas, so why on earth are we building and subsidising them?
AGL Energy, Australia's largest developer of renewable energy projects, said it delayed a $550 million wind farm because of uncertainty over government policy to boost investment in the industry. AGL will defer hiring an engineering and construction contractor for the proposed Silverton wind farm in New South Wales.
Democratic Labor Senator John Madigan criticised the CEFC by saying Australian taxpayers money would be better spent on other things. "I don't understand why the Australian taxpayer is loaning money to foreign companies?" Senator Madigan said. "Why are we helping these particular companies and not Australian ones?
"This CEFC was established to provide finance for new clean energy projects that could not secure finance through conventional means, not to prop up existing projects owned by other governments. Clearly this refinancing would have occurred on commercial terms without the involvement of the CEFC. It is an entirely inappropriate use of borrowed taxpayers' money."
There has been widespread speculation the Prime Minister's election pitch will include a plan to ditch the deeply unpopular tax, which last July added a further 10 per cent to already rapid price increases. The carbon tax started at a set $23 a tonne, rose to $24.15 yesterday and is due to increase to $25.40 from July 1, 2014.
The boss of Origin Energy, one of the nation's largest energy providers, has called for a review of Australias renewables targets along with the carbon tax, which he said put the nation at an increasing competitive disadvantage .
But now the renewable energy chickens are coming back home, roosting in their nests and fouling them at the same time. Those in the electricity supply industry who can read the wind realise that their management of the industry will come under close scrutiny as new governments come to office and respond to the political forces that helped to get them there.
"Our main challenge is funding. The clear message from investors over the last six to 12 months is that they want to see a far greater portion of the costs contributed by the government."
Queensland families and retirees are worried about the rising costs created by a carbon tax, saying they 'cannot be taxed any further'.
"...a carbon tax will significantly increase the size and scope of Government through burdensome taxation, regulation and the potential for rent seeking by vested interests," the coalition wrote. A carbon tax would do nothing to help the environment and its impact on carbon-dioxide emissions would be negligible, it said.
Roaring 40s is assessing a shock announcement from Canberra that the Federal Government will change its renewable energy scheme. Spokesman Steve Jackman said the business was reviewing the announcement before it could comment on the future of its $400 million Musselroe project.
Australia's wind farm developments have ground to a halt, following a 40 per cent slump in the price of the renewable energy certificates that underwrite the industry. The flow-on effect to regional contractors and manufacturers reliant on wind farms has been devastating.
Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis has called on the Federal Government to offer greater incentives to companies developing renewable energy. His call comes as doubt hangs over renewable energy company Roaring 40s' proposed $350 million wind farm development at Musselroe, as the price of renewable energy credits plummets. When Roaring 40s planned the wind farm, renewable energy credits were worth more than $50 each - that has fallen to below $30.
The company behind a major wind farm in Tasmania's north-east has admitted it is facing significant financial hurdles. ...Managing director Steve Symons says the price of renewable energy credits (REC) ...are priced at $30 but need to be nearly double that for the project to be viable.