Prime Minister Tony Abbott believes his government is “inching closer” to a deal on the renewable energy target.
The clean energy industry has been staring down the barrel of job cuts and failed businesses since the government announced plans to slash the target.
Labor and the government have reopened talks over the previously bipartisan target, after negotiations fell over last year, but have so far been unable to agree on a figure.
The RET mandates 20 per cent of Australia’s power come from renewables by 2020. Changes in electricity usage mean the mandated target of 41,000 gigawatt hours is expected to overshoot by 20 per cent.
The government wants that figure cut to 27,000 while Labor is standing firm on a target in the high 30,000s.
Mr Abbott told reporters in Tasmania his government was “inching closer” to an agreement, which was vital to give certainty to the renewable energy sector.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt wants a deal by Easter and the Clean Energy Council says it has been encouraged by the momentum towards a resolution.
Comment is being sought from opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler.