NSW, SA to suffer most from cuts to Renewable Energy Target

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Reducing the RET is a step back from a clean energy economy that rewards coal and gas power companies at the expense of households and small business.

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source: abc

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) is designed to reduce carbon pollution from the electricity sector and build Australia’s renewable energy industry. And it’s working: the RET has already reduced half a million cars’ worth of pollution.1 By 2020, it should help create enough renewable energy to power every household in Australia.

But some coal and gas power companies and industry associations want the target reduced or abolished completely. They claim that it would help electricity customers. These claims are wrong.

Independent analysis shows that reducing the RET is a step back from a clean energy economy that rewards coal and gas power companies at the expense of households and small business.

What would it mean for your state?

In total, Australia would lose $8 billion of investment in renewable energy technologies like solar and wind if the RET is reduced. The figure is even higher in each state if the RET is altogether abolished.

NSW and South Australia would each lose over $2 billion, while Victoria and Queensland would lose over $1 billion.3 If the RET is abolished, states would lose even more investment.



Reducing the RET won’t lower power bills, but it will increased coal-fired electricity generation and cut renewable energy generation.

Table 1: Increase in weekly electricity bill (household using 6.5 MWh) with a reduced RET (capped at 20% renewable energy)

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.03.33 pm

In NSW, for example, the loss in renewable energy generation would be the equivalent of powering 830,000 fewer households with renewable energy by 2030.

Table 2: Change in electricity generation (GWh) by source and state, 2030, under a reduced RET

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.04.51 pm


Source: Climate Institute. Reproduced with permission.










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  1. Beat Odermatt 5 years ago

    SA has a far smaller population and all of its electricity generation assets were sold years ago. It means that SA is being punished far worse than any other State for being environmentally progressive. NSW and Queensland Governments will get some rewards by getting an artificially high price for their electricity assets. If it would happen in Africa or Asia, we would call it corruption.

  2. Paul McArdle 5 years ago

    I would be interested to see how these numbers are derived. In completing our “Power Supply Schematic” Market map, we have assembled a list of prospective generation projects across the NEM and in the SWIS – see image. As highlighted, there are a significant number of wind projects people are working on in VIC, for instance (and biomass in other regions, etc…).

    All of these will be affected under reduced RET scenarios. More about the wall chart is here:

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