Board member installs solar panels while PM ignores $580,000 RET review recommendations  

While the future of a mandatory renewable energy target remains uncertain, the aftermath of the Warburton review continues to blaze a trail throughout the renewable industry.

Recommendations ignored

Prior to the publication of the Warburton review board findings, numerous facets had been brought into question. Comments made by the head of the review board Dick Warburton regarding his denial of man-made climate change instantly attracted ridicule, then it was revealed that board member Dr Brian Fisher oversaw data models created by his own company BAEconomics that were submitted to the RET review board for consideration by Fisher and his peers.

Giles Parkinson from Renew Economy uncovered directives instructing the review panel to ignore commercial realities in an effort to position renewable energy as an expensive means of reducing carbon emissions, and so on and so forth.

So destructive was the conduct of the Warburton review that the Prime Minister Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt have been left with no alternative but to disavow its findings in an effort to find common ground with the Greens, ALP and Palmer United Party from which to launch their Direct Action plan.

$580,000 price tag

With Greens leader Christine Milne leading the charge, the Senate Estimates committee has now detailed the costs associated with reviewing the scheme.

As expected it was a costly exercise, with board members pocketing $186,500 including Dick Warburton’s $73,000 fee as board head. On top of this was the ACIL Allen modelling (which, ironically, illustrated that renewables reduce the cost of electricity for everybody in the long term) that set the government back $287,468.

It’s believed that just before delivering their findings the board was asked to toughen up their recommendations, leading to the farcical situation where conclusions that are not supported by the commissioned modelling are then ignored by the Prime Minister following a pointless review all at a cost of $580,000 to the Australian tax payers.

Board member installs solar panels

Article Lead - wide62563831118yncimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.118yk7.png1413817328573.jpg-620x349Despite lending his voice to the disapproving choir, Brian Fisher has again attracted unwanted attention by simultaneously criticising government subsidies for renewable energy while taking full advantage of them by investing in a 4kW solar panel system for one of his personal properties.

“I’ve consistently written that subsidies are not necessarily the best way forward in terms of public policy. But as a private individual, if there are incentives around, I respond to them,” explains Fisher defending accusations of hypocrisy.

Chief executive officer of the Australian Solar Council dubbed Fisher a “solar hero” and welcomed him to the growing solar community.

“[Fisher] knows that it will save him a massive amount of money and help bring down electricity prices for everyone,” explained Grimes.