Climate authority ices RET review, how solar saves all Australians  

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is doing all he can to ensure his renewable energy target (RET) review, headed by climate sceptic Dick Warburton, isn’t overshadowed by conflicting data points from opposing sources.

The existing Climate Change Authority (CCA) was established in 2011 and is required by law to review the RET (their last review took place in 2012). Determined to steamroll the RET, Tony Abbott is seeking abolish the CCA by passing legislation through the senate after the upcoming reshuffle in July.

Although the CCA had set a date of February 28 to deliver their RET review, this date has been postponed while the authority’s future is uncertain. Business Spectator is reporting that a white paper from the authority is expected rather than a complete review that should arrive around the same time as the Abbott government’s own review. (Because why would you listen to the Climate Change Authority… what would they know?)

Strong opposition to the Abbott government’s RET review is gaining momentum, you should expect to see campaigns to save the RET and possibly protests between now and July. In the meantime, the Australia Solar Council has published a number of infographics (see right) illustrating the virtue of solar panels and renewable energy, for everyone not just those who install them.


Here are some of the key points:

  • Renewable energy costs 4% of an average energy bill
  • 2% covers small-scale solar power projects (residential installations)
  • 2% cover large-scale installations (commercial installations)
  • By 2016 small-scale solar will cost less than 1%
  • Australia’s save with solar because it reduces peak demand and helps prevent blackouts
  • Solar reduces the cost of transmission and distribution of electricity
  • Solar reduces the overall wholesale price of electricity (which helps everyone with or without solar panels)
  • In 2015/16 solar will save customers more than is costs
  • 52% of energy bills consist of wholesale and retail costs
  • 40% goes to maintaining network infrastructure (electricity poles and wires)
  • A 3kW solar power systems saves the average household 57% in VIC, 65% in SA and 54% in NT
  • Small-scale solar has delivered 18,500 jobs (recently estimated at more than coal and gas combined!)