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

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  • Simpson, Genevieve
  • Clifton, Julian

Abstract

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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    6. 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.
    7. Buckman, Greg & Sibley, Jon & Ward, Megan, 2019. "The large-scale feed-in tariff reverse auction scheme in the Australian Capital Territory 2012, to 2016," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 176-185.
    8. Cheung, Grace & Davies, Peter J., 2017. "In the transformation of energy systems: what is holding Australia back?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 96-108.
    9. 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.
    10. Diaz-Rainey, Ivan & Sise, Greg, 2018. "Green Energy Finance in Australia and New Zealand," ADBI Working Papers 840, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    11. Byrnes, Liam & Brown, Colin, 2015. "Australia’s renewable energy policy: the case for intervention," MPRA Paper 64977, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. 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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