MEDIA RELEASE – 6,750 solar jobs lost or foregone if Renewable Energy Target is axed

The full report can be found here

Up to 6,750 jobs could be lost or foregone if the Renewable Energy Target is abolished, according to analysis commissioned for the REC Agents Association (RAA), an industry body for companies trading in renewable energy certificates.

“If the Renewable Energy Target is axed, 2,000 jobs could be lost straight away and thousands of new jobs would not be created”, said Fiona O’Hehir, Vice-President of RAA and CEO of Greenbank Environmental, who commissioned the analysis.

“Axing the RET is on the Government’s agenda and they need to understand this would have a diabolical impact on jobs, industry and the hundreds of thousands of Australians who want to put solar on their homes”.

“Last year, the solar industry employed some 17,000 Australians, across 4,300 small and medium sized businesses. Solar workers can be found right across the country, from the outer suburbs of our big cities to rural and regional communities,” said  Ric Brazzale, President of RAA and CEO of Green Energy Trading.

The detailed analysis by industry experts SolarBusinessServices, outlines the future of the solar PV industry, projected to 2018, under three scenarios:

(1)   No policy change: business as usual, floating carbon price, slightly higher exchange rate and lower PV prices;

(2)   Cut to the RET: RET adjusted downwards, cuts to residential solar program (SRES) and carbon price abolished.

(3)   Renewable Energy Target abolished.

“Cutting the Renewable Energy Target would also have severe consequences”, said Ms O’Hehir. “Six hundred jobs could be lost next year with a cut to the RET.”

By 2015, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) – a key part of the RET that helps Australian families install solar – will cost just $6.50 out of an average $500 a quarter power bill, but the cost is sharply reduced by the parallel reduction in the wholesale cost of electricity delivered by solar.

The real cost of the SRES to households is just $1.90 per quarter, or just 0.38% of a typical household quarterly bill. For almost 5 million Australians, solar is substantially reducing their power bills.

The SolarBusinessServices analysis uses a number of variables to assess their potential impact on the solar market. Changes to the RET have the single largest impact on market uptake, particularly if abolished completely and early.

The full report can be found here

For media comment, contact Fiona O’Hehir on 0409 176 167, Ric Brazzale on
0419 522 659 and Nigel Morris (SolarBusinessServices) on 0410 479 286.

29 January 2014