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Clean energy investment may be hindered

Ret review could threaten renewable energy 171 92326 0 14085545 300

Uncertainty surrounding the Renewable Energy Target (RET) has the potential to cause widespread problems for the clean energy sector and its level of investment. This is according to a report from the Clean Energy Council (CEC), which points to potential difficulties not only for future projects, but also those already in operation.

Last year, figures from the CEC show investment in renewable energy stood at around $2 billion. During the first three quarters of this year, it declined to $238 million in light of the government's ongoing review of the RET.

"We are staring down the barrel of job losses, business closures, negative financial effects on the $10 billion of renewable energy projects already operating, and a halt in the development of new large-scale renewable energy projects across the country," noted CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

Mr Thornton also warned of the job losses that could arise as a result of this emerging trend, as workers in the renewable sector are uncertain as to what the future might have in store. Around 21,000 people are employed in the industry and are expected to face a nervous time as the RET is analysed yet again.

The CEC is urging the government to strengthen the target in a bid to help Australia meet its climate change goals and obligations both now and well into the future.

Another report carried out by ReachTEL on behalf of WWF-Australia found that public support for the RET is strong, with 89 per cent of respondents believing the current level should increase or stay the same.

The charity also warned of the large-scale job losses that could emerge as a result of the RET being changed - and not to mention the increase in carbon pollution levels.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott