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Abbott’s new attack on renewables may spark another solar boom

By August 27, 2014In the News

Tony Abbott’s renewed attacked on the renewable energy industry has effectively killed the wind energy and large scale solar market in Australia – at least for the next few years.

But it could spark another “solar-coaster” as households and small businesses rush to install rooftop solar systems before the remaining incentives are closed.

The clear intention of the Abbott government to scale back the renewable energy target, or even close it to new entrants, is causing a rapid re-assessment of business plans and strategies in the country.

For large-scale developers, it means reassessing their commitment to the Australian market. Some have withdrawn, others have downsized. More can be expected to follow in coming months.

The small scale market is also going to be affected. It now seems clear, according to well placed sources, that the small-scale component of the RET will be ended, or sharply abridged.

oz solarThis, say solar industry insiders, could spark a mini solar boom to rival that of Queensland in 2012, when the Newman government flagged the closure of its feed in tariff, and caused an unprecedented rush for rooftop solar.

It’s not, however, what the solar industry wants. Subsidies, in a few years, may not be needed. What the industry wants is a measured and balanced approach to wind that down. The boom-bust cycle of “solar-coasters” are not good for business, customers or the economy.

The renewable energy target on Monday grabbed headlines after the AFR reported that Abbott had rejected an initial proposal of the RET Review panel to scale the target back to a “real 20 per cent” – which would still mean a massive reduction in the amount of new renewables to be developed over the next 5 years.

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