Aussie government slashes renewable target

wind-turbine[1]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Abbott government has dramatically slashed the Australian renewable energy target, from 41,000 GWh / year, to 33,000 GWh / year. The leaked appointment of the new Wind Turbine Commissioner is also now official.

According to Sky News;

A bipartisan deal – agreed to last month after a lengthy political stalemate that hamstrung the clean energy sector – will slash the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000.

Labor and the Greens failed to scrap wood waste burning as a renewable source under the scheme after the government did a deal with four crossbenchers to establish a wind farm commissioner.

The commissioner will resolve complaints from concerned residents living near wind turbines.

The government believes the reduced target will address an oversupply of energy in the market and save consumers from possible price hikes had the larger target not been reached.

Mr Abbott believes wind farms, the main beneficiary of the target that requires 20 per cent of Australia’s energy to come from renewables by 2020, are ugly and noisy.

He has also questioned whether the turbines make people ill.

Read more: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2015/06/23/renewable-energy-target-passes-parliament.html

The ongoing effort to contain Australia’s energy prices will be well received by Australian voters – lowering domestic energy prices was a key electoral manifesto pledge, which likely helped the Abbott government win the last election.

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Alan the Brit
June 24, 2015 1:20 am

Makes sense to me!

Ivor Ward
June 24, 2015 1:29 am

Australian Government slashes Unreliables target.

George Tetley
June 24, 2015 1:32 am

He has just put a nail in the money machine, why oh why these stupid greens don’t realize that they are a group of morons , want energy ? that whats in the earths core, go get it

Harry Passfield
Reply to  George Tetley
June 24, 2015 2:05 am

George, you should realise that the Greens don’t want energy, they want Power. Subtle difference.

Patrick
Reply to  Harry Passfield
June 24, 2015 5:55 am

That is true for any political party. The issue is green party supporter believe their green party is for the environment. As we know, that is bunkum!

Hivemind
Reply to  Harry Passfield
June 25, 2015 5:12 am

+1,000

Non Nomen
Reply to  George Tetley
June 24, 2015 2:53 am

I think they are not morons but intelligent yet extremely dangerous people trying to sell their moronic ideology to the world, thus creating a new world order. Delusive do-gooders with vested interests.

Harrowsceptic
Reply to  Non Nomen
June 24, 2015 3:20 am

The leaders are the dangerous ones, but most of the followers are just sheep-lke “head-line” readers that have been converted by the torrent of lies and distortions. They have been brain-washed into thinking that they are indeed saving the planet and have never looked beyond the headlines to find out what the real situation is.

David Cage
Reply to  Non Nomen
June 25, 2015 9:33 am

Non Nomen Not do gooders by any stretch of the imagination. David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!: “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
The reality is a group of megalomaniacs who have an aim that makes Hitler’s genocides look like a little pub punch up. The mistake is not to realise that when any founder writes his aims his followers will at some point take these for a real target to be achieved at all costs. It is possibly the only lesson from history that can be relied on without exception.

Eliza
June 24, 2015 2:20 am

Wow looks like a complete U turn by the AGW establishment (UK Met Office) and MSM!
http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/586404/Britain-freezing-winters-slump-solar-activity
Dozens of articles have been published on the coming Big Freeze due to reduced Solar. This is really, really going to hurt AGW promoters in the UK anyway. The public will now be 100% confused. Great, at last. expect AGW teams to start disappearing in the UK this and next year.

confusedphoton
Reply to  Eliza
June 24, 2015 2:45 am

The Muppet Office doesn’t do U-turns as it just makes things up so it doesn’t look so bad when they are wrong.

Reply to  Eliza
June 24, 2015 3:01 am

@ Eliza 2:20 am, Are they still importing wood pellets from the USA and shutting down coal/gas fired power plants in the UK? And stopping fracking to get at these gas fields? Can we have an update on how they are using wind powered cargo ships to do that?( Sailboats). In Canada that info seems to be lost in our own version of the MSM ( as in CBC and CTV). We do keep seeing pictures of “wind” (bird) mills all over the UK. How true are those?

Reply to  asybot
June 24, 2015 6:28 am

How many years till the UK looks like Haiti? And isn’t this also what happened to the Easter Islands?

ralfellis
Reply to  asybot
June 24, 2015 7:09 am

>>How many years till the UK looks like Haiti?
Ha. No, there is still a grain of sanity left in the illogicalities of the UK government. We are chopping trees down in the USA, not the UK – so it is the USA that will end up looking like Haiti or Easter Island.
Sorry, folks, but you agreed to this absurd proposal. And of course in the short term this will boost CO2 production, not slow it. But this will be ‘good CO2’ that does no harm, as opposed to the ‘bad CO2’ from coal that causes warming. /sarc
R

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Eliza
June 24, 2015 3:21 am

Eliza: The way I read it in the press was that the MO were pitching that the cooling would be in the order of 0.8 Deg C, whereas the warming would still continue in the order of 6 (SIX!) deg C by 2100. We are truly in the land of the La-Las

Gerry, England
Reply to  Harry Passfield
June 24, 2015 5:54 am

And for approaching 20 years there has been no heating apart from ‘modified’ data sets so they are going to run into trouble quite soon on this one.

Harrowsceptic
Reply to  Eliza
June 24, 2015 3:27 am

Pity it’s only in the Express, which isn’t the most widely read or respected UK news sheet but at least it’s a start and it’s good to see terms like Maunder Minimum getting out there. But note the the Met office, true to form, denies that this will halt Global Warming!!. Still I suppose we can’t expect them to give up that easily.

cnxtim
Reply to  Harrowsceptic
June 24, 2015 4:00 am

Give up? I mean what real jobs are they qualified for?

Steve (Paris)
Reply to  Harrowsceptic
June 24, 2015 4:29 am

Daily Mail has picked it up too. Strange article warning of a big freeze but only -0.8°c cooling, which anyway will be overwhelmed by 6°C heating.

June 24, 2015 2:22 am

We have gone nearly two decades with rising levels of CO2 and flat temperatures or even declining temperatures. CO2 does not do what most people think it does. It is a horror for the poor that this CO2 delusion has led to policies that makes energy prices much higher. This makes heating your home in the winter much more expensive and also depresses economic competition due to the higher energy prices. Look at the situation Germany is in now.
It is high time we all started walking back these dumb-ass laws and stop letting China have the playing field all to itself.

Robin Hewitt
June 24, 2015 2:25 am

Somehow a 25% cut in an very expensive renewables target sounds a bit limp if he really was elected on a cheap energy ticket.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Robin Hewitt
June 24, 2015 2:55 am

As a politician, he has a back door, at least one…

Patrick
Reply to  Non Nomen
June 24, 2015 4:43 am

Surely you mean a back passage?

Reply to  Non Nomen
June 24, 2015 2:00 pm

Patrick
What use may his (architectural??) back passage have??
Happy Holiday, wherever you are.
Auto

Mick In The Hills
June 24, 2015 2:43 am

Carpetbaggers always flock to government-subsidised schemes. Solar, wind, wave, geothermal power installations are a prime example.

Robertv
June 24, 2015 2:45 am

But a Dutch court ruled the government has duty of care and cannot hide behind claims that the Netherlands is a small part of a world-wide process.
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/06/dutch-state-must-cut-greenhouse-gasses-by-25-says-court/
http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/24193116/__Minder_broeikasgassen__.html
De rechter zei dat in Nederland de CO2-reductie onder de 17 procent zou blijven, in weerwil van klimaatverdragen. Hij concludeerde dat klimaatverandering wordt veroorzaakt door uitstoot en dat dit ernstige gevaren met zich meebrengt, onder meer door de zeespiegelstijging en voor de voedselvoorziening. De overheid moet burgers hiertegen beschermen.
The judge said that the CO2 reduction would stay below 17 percent in the Netherlands, in spite of climate treaties. HE concluded that climate change is caused by emissions and that this entails serious risks, including sea level rise and for food. The government should protect citizens against this.

Reply to  Robertv
June 24, 2015 3:14 am

And the Dutch have been fighting Sea Level Rise for ? What? A Thousand years? Using What? No don’t say it Windmills ( a by product was flood control, irrigation, fish farming, grinding wheat, tulips and agriculture, making electricity (cheaply) etc.
Where are these people coming from? So they now want to stop this? It is like an article I read that now the greens want to fine nuclear reactor operators for creating CO2. HUH?
I think I am living in an alternate universe.

michael hart
Reply to  asybot
June 24, 2015 3:29 am

A good part of Holland has been stolen from The North Sea. Makes you wonder what kind of a Dutch judge isn’t aware of that. Perhaps fishermen should countersue and claim that the loss of ocean is depriving them of their livelihood.

Robertv
Reply to  asybot
June 24, 2015 3:52 am

And it started all with the end of the last cold phase of the ongoing ice age.
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c017c37fa9895970b-pi

Robertv
Reply to  asybot
June 24, 2015 3:59 am

The ‘normal’ of the last 100,000 years is that The North Sea is dry land where animals such as the mammoth lived

ralfellis
Reply to  asybot
June 24, 2015 7:24 am

Actually, windmills were far too expensive, so the Dutch used steam power.
When the Dutch wanted to drain Haarlem lake, the choice was 150 windmills or 3 steam pumps. They chose the 3 steam pumps – which were made in Cornwall (in the days when Britain made things….). They say it is the largest beam engine ever made, but I am not so sure about that. But the design is unusual, with eight pumps located radially and all attached to the central piston(s).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_De_Cruquius
R

cnxtim
June 24, 2015 2:52 am

Wasting money on ANY windmills makes me ill!

Editor
Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 3:55 am

Nonsense! Who would not be in favor of a few bills tossed for restoration of 17th-century windmills for historical purposes?

Goldrider
Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 6:42 am

I had some jerk from the Government call me 20 years ago, trying to talk me into “a grant” for using a windmill on my farm to pump water for my stock. I told him he was “educated beyond his intelligence” and hung up on him.

simon
June 24, 2015 2:52 am

Another nail in the Abbott coffin.

Patrick
Reply to  simon
June 24, 2015 3:33 am

I see we have an Abbott hater here today. What do you not like about democracy Simon? The LNP were elected on this policy, Abbott was just leader. The Abbott gubmint will suffer due to alarmists who have no clue that now fill Australia. You’ll have your chance in 2016 or sooner to “voice” your opinion.

Simon
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 7:21 pm

No I wont…. I’m not Australian. But the guy has lost all integrity on the world stage. He’s a goneburger.

Stuart Jones
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 9:54 pm

How can you critisise a man when you dont even live here, I do, I am not keen on the guy (not keen on any politician) but he is the only world leader to even look the other way on these issues, i get the impression he wants to do more but cant due to outside (overseas) diplomatic pressures. he is slowly chipping away at the green scam, one day he will be seen as a lone visionary on the worlds stage, Australia relies on supplying coal to China and India for the next 50 years or so, thats why he supports the coal industry, without coal and iron we will be reduced to …..nothing. As for embracing renewable technology, we cant compete with China in the design and manufacturing and living in South Australia (highest proportion of wind farms) I know that my electricity bill is one of the highest in the country and with the imminent closure of one of our coal fired power stations we wil be relying on the interconnector to the Victorian COAL fired power stations for our energy when the wind dont blow.

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 10:00 pm

Like Rudd and Gillard?

simon
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 11:20 pm

Patrick… Like Rudd and Gillard? You got it in one.

Simon
Reply to  Patrick
June 25, 2015 10:35 pm

Stuart Jones
If you think this man….

is going to save Australia… Oh my goodness is all I can say.
And I don’t have to live in Australia to know that clip is embarrassing on every level.

cnxtim
Reply to  simon
June 24, 2015 3:54 am

Not so simple Simon; Shorten Gillard Rudd (what a trinity of trough dwellers, sorry cant recall all the green drop-outs (or is that dropkicks?) i mean how many losers can you back before you realise their shortcomings, self-interest and subterfuge? Sorry, omitted apostrophe after ‘so’

Simon
Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 7:22 pm

That’ my point… Abbott is just another in a long line of Aussie PM losers. The guy has no chance from here.

Editor
Reply to  simon
June 24, 2015 3:57 am

Hmm. They always say that about the guy driving in the nails of the other guy’s coffin.

AndyG55
Reply to  simon
June 25, 2015 12:12 am

Sorry Simon, rational Liberal voters will flock back to the Abbott government from the dithering centre.
They want all this green crap GONE, and TA is doing his darnedest in a tough situation to get it gone.
Go TA. !!!!!

cnxtim
June 24, 2015 2:54 am

Electricity generation wind-farms of course, artesian pumps make sense.

Editor
June 24, 2015 2:54 am

It was announced in the Telegraph yesterday that David Cameron is reducing subsidies for wind farms and making planning permission for them more difficult. The more enlightened politicians realise that AGW is a scam, but cannot say so because the cry would go up that they are not qualified to say so, the science is settled, 97% consensus and all the other cr’p that is said under these circumstances. Hopefully the world will get more right of centre governments who think the same.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  andrewmharding
June 24, 2015 10:49 am

Beware of the liar in no.10. Slippery as a serpert

Reply to  Stephen Richards
June 24, 2015 11:53 am

Stephen Richards:
Yes, and don’t forget that his wife’s father is making a small fortune from windfarm subsidies.
Richard

Reply to  Stephen Richards
June 24, 2015 2:09 pm

Stephen
I agree with richardscourtney, and additionally – do read Private Eye.
I am a subscriber [not a shareholder] but they, too, have good articles.
Auto

Jack
June 24, 2015 2:59 am

The Abbot government wanted to cut even more but that is politics. He achieved what was possible.

cnxtim
Reply to  Jack
June 24, 2015 4:12 am

Blame the lunatic fringe voters who treat the Upper House elections as a joke. Well now is it really cool to vote for Clive and the twit from the “Really Nice Car party”?

SSorry Sophie, I thought this spoofy song of yours was quite appropriate here

mobihci
Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 5:49 am

that car enthusiasts party only got 0.51% of the vote, yet because of the stupid preference system, he got a seat anyway. more people voted for the HEMP party!
http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/results/senate/vic/
if you scroll down that list, you can see how 17,000 votes ends up beating 420,000 votes. democracy at work!

tonyM
Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 7:13 am

Mobihci:
It is not the preferential system which is at fault as it is the fairest system available. It ensures that the candidate most preferred by the whole electorate wins. By contrast a first past the post system can see a person who is least liked by the whole electorate win the seat.
The Senate voting was changed to allow Parties to allocate the preferences as an option – to make it more workable when there are a lot of candidates. Preferential voting is meant to be the voter filling in his preferences. So it was gamed by some smart people.
But it can be fixed quite readily and still be workable.

Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 9:29 am

The fairest voting system is in the eye of a beholder. All known voting systems have quirks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system

mobihci
Reply to  cnxtim
June 24, 2015 1:36 pm

regardless of the options, the preferential system lead to peoples votes going to the politicians to do with as they please, and nobody can be expected to be a mind reader. i know there are options such as filling out 100 boxes etc, but that is all just a show. this system is setup to remove power from public votes, and put it in the hands of the political party rooms. it is the most undemocratic system there is. couple that with forcing everyone to vote, even young people who just do not want to vote, and you end up with a system that is slanted to the left minor parties.

AndyG55
Reply to  Robertv
June 25, 2015 12:14 am

Peak coal has never arrived.
Peak renewable will come when the subsidies are removed.

June 24, 2015 3:42 am

A climate scientist, I think from North Ealing,
Said “I have an uncomfortable feeling;
Common sense has returned,
My grant will be burned;
Man-made warming is no longer appealing”.
http://rhymeafterrhyme.net/man-does-not-know-everything/

Editor
Reply to  rhymeafterrhyme
June 24, 2015 4:00 am

There once was a climatologist,
A CAGW apologist.
So he entered the squabble,
Created a model,
And thus he became an astrologist.

Paul
Reply to  Evan Jones
June 24, 2015 5:47 am

+1.001

June 24, 2015 4:08 am

Fuel tax going up. Increase in renewables still happening (despite lower target). Officially still agreeing that man made climate change is a problem and has many true believers in his cabinet. Still has a “Carbon reduction” plan.
In short, don’t believe the spin. If you want to find a real advocate for sensible energy policy look at the LDP.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  wickedwenchfan
June 24, 2015 4:29 am

A move in the right direction; gradualism.

Patrick
Reply to  wickedwenchfan
June 24, 2015 4:46 am

Turnbull is on the move for a takeover of the LNP leadership IMO and Abbott is trying to save his seat. Nothing like running the country for its people eh?

cnxtim
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 5:32 am

Turncoat has never been anything but “on the move (make?)” Still. I see him more as a pickpocket than a puncher – time will tell.

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 6:01 am

I think Turnbull will challenge and win. That will be a total disaster for Aus.

AndyG55
Reply to  Patrick
June 25, 2015 12:16 am

Liberals will vote informal rather than for Turnbull.
They would prefer Labor to Turnbull, so that the Liberals cannot be blamed for the economic destruction that would occur in either case.

AndyG55
Reply to  Patrick
June 25, 2015 12:17 am

ps.. Turnbull will NEVER be elected as a Liberal Prime Minister

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
June 26, 2015 12:55 am

Andy, in Australia a PM is never elected by the voting public. He can only be PM if the party votes him leader and if the LNP wins at the next federal election.

Bruce Cobb
June 24, 2015 4:21 am

If Australia isn’t careful, they’ll be “othered” at the big year-end climate jamboree.

patmcguinness
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 24, 2015 8:56 pm

Abbott has tremendous integrity and courage. wish more leaders were like him. He should wear the scorn of the alarmist clowns like a badge of honor.

Robert of Ottawa
June 24, 2015 4:28 am

It’s ironic that the so-called renewable “free” energy programs, such as in Ontario, actually push prices up.

June 24, 2015 4:50 am

One or two generations from now, when government has become exhausted of the ability and will to continue the vast subsidies to wind power companies, abandoned and decrepit wind turbines that litter the landscape. Then they will be the target of a new push for government to fund “decommissioning” and cleanup. This is because wind power companies and their supporters never imagined that wind power was not economically “sustainable”. Thus they never made provision in their business model for the same reclamation and restoration of turbine sites in the same manner that companies operating open pit coal mines must do.
For all the money we have blown to the wind with wind turbines, we could have entirely “walk-away-safe” nuclear power plants by now. The only thing that wind power leaves us with is the perpetual debt of all the money that government created out of thin air to pay for.

Patrick
Reply to  buckwheaton
June 24, 2015 4:59 am

Does this already happen in CA, USA?

Patrick
June 24, 2015 5:03 am

I recall reading a comment here in Australia by someone who claimed nuclear power was finite and solar/wind power was infinite. Well, I thought, all energy is infinite IMO. What is finite is how we capture that source and put it to use.

patmcguinness
Reply to  Patrick
June 24, 2015 8:58 pm

We have enough uranium and thorium to support millions of years of nuclear power.
The sun will last longer, but it do will eventually burn out.
All things are finite.

Patrick
Reply to  patmcguinness
June 24, 2015 9:58 pm

And in the process consume the earth.

Alan Watt
June 24, 2015 5:25 am

A one-third reduction in an already ridiculously high and meaningless goal is not really a “slash”, but one must start somewhere.
Maybe we just need to redefine “renewable” energy sources to include fast breeder reactors. They make their own fuel, have zero C02 emissions, and produce base load power with very high availability over the lifetime of the plant. What’s not to like?

Mervyn
June 24, 2015 5:44 am

God bless Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He is a bold man, not ashamed to proclaim his immense praise for coal – all this in an era when the greens and anti-fossil fuel activists demonise coal.
Don’t be surprised Tony Abbott declares “COAL DAY” – an occasion for Australia, and other like minded nations, to celebrate coal’s immense contribution to humanity, for lifting mankind out of poverty and into this wonderful world we enjoy today, thanks to giving the world a source of cheap reliable energy.

Patrick
Reply to  Mervyn
June 24, 2015 6:00 am

Not quite. He seems to be buckling under the pressure from alarmists to “lead the way”. Here in Aus we are less than a year away from a federal election.

Mark from the Midwest
June 24, 2015 7:15 am

Just in time for Paris 2015, UK, OZ, Germany, Canada … I’ve heard from a semi-reliable source that the House and Senate will pass a joint resolution, just before this year’s recess, that reminds the POTUS and the U.N. that there’s no such thing as a binding treaty in the U.S. until the Senate ratifies that treaty…
the Paris trainwreck, now reaching warp speed …

patmcguinness
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
June 24, 2015 9:09 pm

The US House has passed a rebuke to Obama’s EPA’s CPP aka Coal Punishment Plan.
The CPP (not to be confused with CPPP, although there are similarities), required all 50 states to enter conforming plans (shades of Obamacare state exchanges). The House bill passed with bipartisan support says states can opt out.
And the whole shebang should wait until legal challenges are met. Both make sense, but Obama will veto.
Even if vetoed, the fact that the US Congress does NOT agree with Obama’s climate ‘commitment’ should send a message that Obama’s promises are empty – the policy equivalent of kiting checks.
80% chance the EPA plan is gutted by 2017: Either by courts overturning most or all of it, or by a new administration overturning it.

n.n
June 24, 2015 7:21 am

Renewable wind and solar energy, not technology. Green wind and solar energy, not technology, not displacement. The value of these technologies should be assessed in context without ideological bias.

n.n
June 24, 2015 7:25 am

“Clean” driver? Yes. Mostly. Except for, ironically, global warming. Clean energy? No. Bias bordering on prejudice, or perhaps profit.

Clive
June 24, 2015 7:34 am

Ivor
Made my day! Thanks!
Unreliables
Clive

Resourceguy
June 24, 2015 12:42 pm

At least they are starting to wake up to the advantage of utility scale solar PV. The next learned lesson will come with community solar in place of rooftop, wind, and pack-o-lies solar CSP.

cnxtim
June 24, 2015 2:05 pm

If you wish to surrender your vote to a third party to do with as they wish, it is your prerogative. Personally, i don’t find any number of check boxes daunting. Although I didn’t go as far as my darling ex who most courteously collected every “how to vote sheet” at the polling place in Avalon.
The look of hope on the faces was a joy to behold
Especially in our uber safe Liberal electorate. I meant no serious disrespect for the “really nice car party”.
My dad taught me to listen to every soapbox spruiker in the Domain on Sunday – It was part and parcel of being Australian.

AndyG55
Reply to  cnxtim
June 25, 2015 12:20 am

I like to take a Greens how to vote, and rip it up as I walk away 🙂

Craig
June 24, 2015 2:51 pm

Yay for my government but it’s 33000 too much!

spotted reptile
June 24, 2015 4:14 pm

If you really want a laugh, cnxtim, rock up to the voting booth riding your bike. The look of joy on the faces of the green parties which then turns to disbelief when you ask for a Liberal vote flyer is a delight to behold.

nankerphelge
June 24, 2015 5:12 pm

At last someone with the bravado to stand up to the Warmists. Abbott is Catholic so had better watch out for Pope Frank!!

Louis Hunt
June 24, 2015 9:56 pm

“Aussie government slashes renewable target”
No worries. There are more targets where that one came from. They’re renewable.

June 28, 2015 5:59 pm

For the benefit of Australian and overseas readers who may be confused about the shenanigans around the Australian Mandated Renewable Target (RET) here is a potted history.
In Australia the original Renewable Energy Target was set by the Coalition Government in 2001 at 9500 GWh per annum, to be reached by 2010. This was 5% of the expected electricity supply level for 2010. Note that this was in the light of the substantial apparent increase in global temperatures from 1979 to 1999.
This was reviewed in 2004 (the Tambling Review) and the government decided to continue with the fixed target expressed in GWh, rather than change to a target increasing year by year.
The Coalition Government lost power in 2007 to an ALP (Australian Labor Party) government which immediately decided to greatly augment the target. This quote is from the COAG Working Paper:
“The Australian Government has committed to implementing an expanded national RET scheme that will:
• ensure the equivalent of at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply—approximately
60 000 gigawatt-hours (GWh)—is generated from renewable sources by 2020
• increase the MRET to 45 000 GWh to ensure that together with the approximately 15 000 GWh of existing renewable capacity, Australia reaches the 20 per cent target by 2020
• bring both the national MRET and existing state-based targets into a single national scheme
• count only renewable energy towards the target and keep the same eligibility criteria as in the
current MRET scheme
• phase out the RET between 2020 and 2030 as emissions trading matures and prices become
sufficient to ensure a RET is no longer required.
• retain the eligibility of all renewable energy projects that have been approved under existing
state-based schemes.”
At about this time, State governments realised that while they had been keeping electricity prices down, their distribution networks had been starved of money, and were approaching a parlous state. As a result electricity charges were substantially increased. Demand had been rapidly increasing from about 167 TWh in 1999-2000 to about 207 TWh in 2006-2007. As a result of the increased charges the rate of increase of demand greatly slowed, and peaked in 2008-2009 at about 210 TWh. Since then it has fallen to about 195 TWh in 2013-2014 (last full year available on the National Energy Market Regulator website – https://www.aer.gov.au/node/9765). The figures are my estimates from the graph.
Legislation in 2009, at the peak of demand, upped the RET to 41 000 GWh by 2020. This was to be approximately 20% of demand.
As a result of increased electricity prices (including for a short time the Carbon Price) and the closure of some industrial demand (aluminium smelters, oil refineries, etc) the mandated 41 000 GWh is now estimated to be about 26-27% of 2020 demand, so the target has been cut back to 33 000 GWh per annum. Still rather excessive, but not quite so bad as it would have been at 41 000!

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