Braking wind in Australia: A critical evaluation of the renewable energy target

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Abstract

This paper provides a critical evaluation of Australia's new Renewable Energy Target (RET) program with respect to its capacity to support wind power development. Four structural flaws associated with the RET which undermine its effectiveness as a catalyst for technological change in the electricity sector are discussed: (i) the inclusion of waste coal mine gas (WCMG) as an eligible fuel source which acts as an indirect coal industry subsidy, (ii) program duration which is too short and ill-structured, (iii) a multiplier that is well-intended to support small-scale renewable technologies but which creates "phantom capacity", and (iv) the capped target of 45,000. GWh which will stymie long-term wind power market investment. The paper concludes with recommendations which stress the importance of passing effective Carbon Pollution Renewable Scheme (CPRS) legislation to offset the weaknesses associated with the RET. If an effective CPRS cannot be implemented, the paper recommends that amendments be made to the RET to (i) remove WCMG from the list of approved alternative energy sources, and (ii) extend the RET targets to reach 120,000. GWh by 2030.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3668-3675
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume38
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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