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Renewable energy target review backs closure of scheme to new entrants… Recommendations would curtail investment and subsidies for large-scale and household renewables

By August 28, 2014September 1st, 2014In the News

by Lenore Taylor

Political Editor

Investment in windfarms and other large-scale renewables would dry up and subsidies for household solar power and electricity could cease under recommendations to the federal government from its review of the renewable energy target (RET).

The recommendations from the review, chaired by businessman and self-professed climate sceptic Dick Warburton, are set to be opposed by Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United party, setting the stage for another fight over climate policy in the upper house.

The issue has divided the cabinet, with Tony Abbott favouring the idea of closing the RET to any new investment, and the environment minister, Greg Hunt, and the industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, fighting for it to be “pared back” rather than closed.

The review, which the prime minister took responsibility for when the Coalition assumed government, includes Abbott’s preferred option as one of two recommendations.

It says closing the scheme to new investment avoids the cost of shifting any generation from the high-emitting brown and black coal Australia largely relies on now, given that electricity demand is lower than anticipated and no new generation capacity is needed.

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