IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Picking winners and policy uncertainty: Stakeholder perceptions of Australia's Renewable Energy Target


  • Simpson, Genevieve
  • Clifton, Julian


Australia's Renewable Energy Target (RET) mandates investment in renewable electricity generation through a renewable energy certificate market. A legislated national consultative review of the RET was carried out in 2012, resulting in 8660 submissions. Respondents were invited to comment on the value of the legislated target, including whether the legislated target should be a fixed GWh target or a fixed policy-based percentage-of-demand target, and the impact of review processes on the renewable energy industry. This paper presents the first analysis of submissions and evaluates their implications for the future of this policy. There was a consistent alignment of opinion amongst respondents, with industry and fossil-fuel generation/retailer groups opposing the RET objectives, whilst these were supported by NGOs and the renewable sector. However, most respondents favoured maintaining the overall goal of providing 20% renewable electricity generation by 2020. Concerns were raised by most groups of respondents regarding policy continuity and excessive reviewing procedures. In its response to the review, the Climate Change Authority made a total of 34 recommendations, 18 maintaining the status quo. Only six recommendations were endorsed by the Australian Government that would result in changes to the scheme. It is concluded that such review processes can be significantly harmful to maintaining stability and certainty in an industry requiring long-term commitment for investments, and that the Australian Government continues to favour the status quo in responding to consultative review processes relating to renewable energy policies.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:128-135
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.11.038

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kent, Anthony & Mercer, David, 2006. "Australia's mandatory renewable energy target (MRET): an assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1046-1062, June.
    2. Ma, Hengyun & Oxley, Les & Gibson, John & Li, Wen, 2010. "A survey of China's renewable energy economy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 438-445, January.
    3. Ross, S.J. & McHenry, M.P. & Whale, J., 2012. "The impact of state feed-in tariffs and federal tradable quota support policies on grid-connected small wind turbine installed capacity in Australia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 141-147.
    4. 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.
    5. Effendi, Pranoto & Courvisanos, Jerry, 2012. "Political aspects of innovation: Examining renewable energy in Australia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 245-252.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:renene:v:132:y:2019:i:c:p:176-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:renene:v:118:y:2018:i:c:p:1052-1063 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:74:y:2017:i:c:p:333-348 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Simpson, Genevieve & Clifton, Julian, 2016. "Subsidies for residential solar photovoltaic energy systems in Western Australia: Distributional, procedural and outcome justice," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 262-273.
    5. Diaz-Rainey, Ivan & Sise, Greg, 2018. "Green Energy Finance in Australia and New Zealand," ADBI Working Papers 840, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    6. Byrnes, Liam & Brown, Colin, 2015. "Australia’s renewable energy policy: the case for intervention," MPRA Paper 64977, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:96-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Green, Jemma & Newman, Peter, 2017. "Citizen utilities: The emerging power paradigm," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 283-293.
    10. repec:eee:renene:v:116:y:2018:i:pa:p:458-469 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Andrew Chapman & Benjamin McLellan & Tetsuo Tezuka, 2016. "Strengthening the Energy Policy Making Process and Sustainability Outcomes in the OECD through Policy Design," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-16, July.
    12. Simpson, Genevieve & Clifton, Julian, 2015. "The emperor and the cowboys: The role of government policy and industry in the adoption of domestic solar microgeneration systems," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 141-151.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:128-135. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.