State Jobs and investment at risk from cutting the RET

New South Wales and Queensland are the states with the most to lose if the Federal Government adopts the recommendations to slash the Renewable Energy Target (RET) put forward by Dick Warburton, according to new analysis released by the Clean Energy Council today.

The Clean Energy Council briefing paper shows that investment in large-scale renewable energy such as solar and wind farms would fall by 80 per cent in New South Wales if the policy was closed to new generation, one of the preferred recommendations of the Warburton review. This option would rob the state of more than $4 billion of investment.

Queensland leads the nation with 4600 jobs in solar power and more than 6500 across its renewable energy sector, and these would also be under threat if the Renewable Energy Target was slashed.

Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the RET was a big economic opportunity for Australian states, particularly in regional areas of the country where it was really needed.

“If the Federal Government adopts the recommendation from the Warburton review of the policy to cut the RET, we will miss out on most of the $15 billion in investment in large-scale renewable energy that is expected to be created by the policy,” Mr Thornton said.

“The New South Wales economy could be more than $5 billion better off in 2020 if the RET is left to work as it is supposed to, but 80 per cent of this will be lost if the RET is cut.

“Victoria stands to gain almost $4 billion of investment from renewable energy such as wind and solar farms by the end of the decade if the policy is left alone. If it is slashed then 75 per cent of this will go begging, and the state’s 3700 existing jobs will be put at risk.”

The Clean Energy Council briefing paper, The impact of cutting the Renewable Energy Target on state jobs and investment, shows that many parts of the country have a lot to gain from the policy – but also a lot to lose if it is cut.

Approximately 21,000 people are directly employed by the renewable energy sector across the country, and many thousands more are employed as a result of the flow-on economic benefits from building, installing, operating and maintaining renewable energy technology.

“The RET review panel’s own analysis showed there is no benefit to consumers from slashing the Renewable Energy Target. We should leave it alone to get on with creating jobs and investment across the country,” Mr Thornton said.

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