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Braking wind in Australia: A critical evaluation of the renewable energy target

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  • Valentine, Scott

Abstract

This paper provides a critical evaluation of Australia's new Renewable Energy Target (RET) program with respect to its capacity to support wind power development. Four structural flaws associated with the RET which undermine its effectiveness as a catalyst for technological change in the electricity sector are discussed: (i) the inclusion of waste coal mine gas (WCMG) as an eligible fuel source which acts as an indirect coal industry subsidy, (ii) program duration which is too short and ill-structured, (iii) a multiplier that is well-intended to support small-scale renewable technologies but which creates "phantom capacity", and (iv) the capped target of 45,000Â GWh which will stymie long-term wind power market investment. The paper concludes with recommendations which stress the importance of passing effective Carbon Pollution Renewable Scheme (CPRS) legislation to offset the weaknesses associated with the RET. If an effective CPRS cannot be implemented, the paper recommends that amendments be made to the RET to (i) remove WCMG from the list of approved alternative energy sources, and (ii) extend the RET targets to reach 120,000Â GWh by 2030.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentine, Scott, 2010. "Braking wind in Australia: A critical evaluation of the renewable energy target," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3668-3675, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:7:p:3668-3675
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2008. "Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: A critical survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2940-2953, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Katsigiannis, Yiannis A. & Stavrakakis, George S., 2014. "Estimation of wind energy production in various sites in Australia for different wind turbine classes: A comparative technical and economic assessment," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 230-236.
    2. Li, J.S. & Chen, G.Q. & Wu, X.F. & Hayat, T. & Alsaedi, A. & Ahmad, B., 2014. "Embodied energy assessment for Macao׳s external trade," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 642-653.
    3. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2011. "Understanding the variability of wind power costs," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 3632-3639.
    4. Effendi, Pranoto & Courvisanos, Jerry, 2012. "Political aspects of innovation: Examining renewable energy in Australia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 245-252.
    5. Valentine, Scott & Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Matsuura, Masahiro, 2011. "Empowered? Evaluating Japan's national energy strategy under the DPJ administration," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1865-1876, March.
    6. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2011. "Emerging symbiosis: Renewable energy and energy security," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4572-4578.
    7. Solangi, K.H. & Islam, M.R. & Saidur, R. & Rahim, N.A. & Fayaz, H., 2011. "A review on global solar energy policy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 2149-2163, May.
    8. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2013. "Wind power policy in complex adaptive markets," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 1-10.
    9. Simpson, Genevieve & Clifton, Julian, 2014. "Picking winners and policy uncertainty: Stakeholder perceptions of Australia's Renewable Energy Target," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 128-135.
    10. Chapman, Andrew J. & McLellan, Benjamin & Tezuka, Tetsuo, 2016. "Residential solar PV policy: An analysis of impacts, successes and failures in the Australian case," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1265-1279.

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    Keywords

    Wind power Australia Energy policy;

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