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Fears over future of Renewable Energy Target

SOLAR CUTS: Climate Care Electrical owner Kelvin Rasmussen is worried about the effects that local businesses could face if the Federal Government drops the Renewable Energy Target. (INSET) An aerial view of homes in Rockhampton with solar panels.
SOLAR CUTS: Climate Care Electrical owner Kelvin Rasmussen is worried about the effects that local businesses could face if the Federal Government drops the Renewable Energy Target. (INSET) An aerial view of homes in Rockhampton with solar panels. Chris Ison Rokcsolar

ALMOST 15,000 homes in Capricornia have gone down the path of using solar energy. But that number could come to a halt if the Abbott government cuts the Renewable Energy Target.

Climate Care Electrical owner Kelvin Rasmussen said local businesses were worried that if the Federal Government dropped the RET, subsidies for solar power installations will be cut.

Mr Rasmussen and other business representatives will be meeting with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry this month to raise their concerns.

"We want Michelle Landry to retain the RET at its current rate," Mr Rasmussen said.

"If she steps back and pushes against the RET she would be denying thousands of people in her electorate to take up solar."

For Mr Rasmussen, the loss of the RET would see a hit to his business.

The business owner has already seen his staff halved in the past two years.

And he's not alone, with 18,000 solar workers across the country devastated with the knowledge their jobs are on the line.

Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes said axing the RET would make it harder for Australian families to reduce their power bills.

"Families can reduce their power bills by more than 65% with solar, but the Abbott government wants to make it harder for families to access solar," Mr Grimes said.

The average home in Capricornia uses 20 kilowatt hours of energy per day, which costs $600 per quarter, Mr Rasmussen said.

"By moving from 100% fossil fuel-generated power to renewable energy most customers enjoy a 40% reduction ..." he said. "It's going to be devastating if they axe the RET."

WHAT IS THE RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET

The RET scheme is designed to ensure that 20% of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

The scheme is helping to transform our electricity generation mix to cleaner and more diverse sources and supporting growth and employment in the renewable energy sector.

Topics:  renewable energy target, solar energy



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