Despite state and federal government backflips and zig zags on incentives and FIT for small scale renewable energy, thousands of households in Gippsland have installed solar hot water systems, embraced energy efficiency measures, and installed solar panels.
Many householders are aware of the benefits, as are many of the farmers ignored by VFF president in his call to abolish the RET (Sentinel-Times, September 9).
These include lower, not higher, electricity bills, long term energy security, and a desire to join the worldwide shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
We also want to leave the planet in a better state for future generations.
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) has always had bipartisan support, including at the last Federal election.
It was unequivocally endorsed by local member and Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, before and since the election, as was the Coalition policy for an “extra” million solar roofs.
The recent review into the RET, less than a year after a mandated favourable review by the Climate Change Authority, is a waste of taxpayers’ money, and was clearly aimed at justifying cuts to the RET, despite widespread bipartisan community support for renewable energy.
Even so, the report found that reduced demand for electricity, along with increased production, had reduced wholesale prices.
By this logic, if the target remains, then prices will reduce further. Instead, the report recommends cutting renewable energy incentives, abandoning the 21,000 workers currently employed in the renewable energy industry, and providing a windfall to coal generators.
The small subsidies paid for energy efficiency measures and renewables are trivial compared to the billions spent gold-plating the electricity grid network.
They also create long term energy security, lower prices, and new jobs for an industry growing rapidly worldwide… negawatts, or energy efficiency savings.
I would ask all our local members to stick with their pre-election promises (including the million solar roofs), maintain bipartisan support for the RET, and provide certainty for participants and investors in the renewable energy industry.
John Coulter, Cape Paterson.