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Federal Parliament has passed the law to slash the Renewable Energy Target (RET), with a disputable involvement of waste wood as a feasible source of fuel.

The bipartite agreement which is said to slash the RET from 41, 000 GWh to 33, 000 GWh was passed via the Senate on Tuesdaynight. The major parties had for some months been deliberating on the gigawatt hour value.

In 2001 the Howard Government established this target and it was later reinforced by Labor to “ not less than 20% by 2020” , calculated at the time as being 41,000 GWh of electrical power.

The Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council, Mr Thornton indicated that the development was very critical in paving way for the enhancement of renewable energy projects. “While this has been a challenging process, and we are disappointed by the level of reduction of the target for large-scale renewable energy, the passage of this legislation provides the platform for a doubling of renewables over the next five years,” Mr Thornton said.

The Clean Energy Regulator will annually submit progress statement to the Government. This will include statements on the effect of the scheme on electricity prices, and whether the strategy is at a difficult risk. The crossbenchers were assured of a technical committee to investigate critically into wind turbines and alert cabinet ministers on their environmental issues as well as possible health issues.

Both parties are worried the addition of wood waste as feasible source of fuel could promote ineffective harvesting of indigenous land. “The pressure is on to continue the incredibly damaging logging of our forests,” Janet Rice- Greens senator informed the Senate last night. However, the Australian Government indicated that wood waste will only worthy if the main motive of logging is beneficial than the burning for energy.

The deal withdrew the two-yearly reviews of the strategy and made sure that there will be no amendment to the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme. This will favour most people involved in solar water heating and rooftop PV systems.

 

Sources: AAP, 23 June 2015.Renewable energy target passes parliament: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/renewable-energy-target-passes-parliament/story-fn59niix-1227411981649. Accessed 24 June 2015

The Observer, 24 June 2015. Renewable Energy Target cut, BSL will save millions:

http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/renewable-energy-target-cut-bsl-will-save-millions/2684168/. Accessed 24 June 2015

Susan M.2 Apr 2015Renewable Energy Target: Opposition calls on Government to exempt emissions-intensive industries to save jobs: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-02/opposition-urges-ret-exemption-for-select-industries/6366520. Accessed 24 June 2015

 

AUTHOR: DOUGLAS YEBOAH

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