The Federal Government’s review into the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme is in line with its commitment to ensure the initiative is working efficiently and effectively, according to the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane.

Under law, a review is due in 2014 and it will be undertaken by an expert panel, headed by Dick Warburton – a leading businessman and former member of the Reserve Bank Board.

Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane
Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane
Mr Macfarlane said the review would consider the contribution of the RET in reducing emissions, its impact on electricity prices and energy markets, and its costs and benefits for the renewable energy sector, the manufacturing sector and Australian households.

“Australia’s diversity of energy sources is one of our greatest national strengths. Renewable energy has contributed to the energy mix, but we must ensure that the program is operating effectively,” he said.

The review will engage in consultation, seeking submissions from the public and industry.

Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt, said the review would advise the government on the progress of the RET, the importance of investment certainty and any measures which could help ease pressure on electricity prices.

“The independent and expert panel brings together extensive policy, business and energy sector expertise to complete this task.

“The government is committed to easing the pressure of electricity prices for families and business. That’s why we’re getting rid of the carbon tax. The carbon tax drives up the price of electricity but has had no significant impact on emissions.”

The review will be supported by a Secretariat based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet involving specialists from the Departments of Industry and Environment.

The review’s report will be provided to government by the middle of the year, and will be an important input into the government’s Energy White Paper process.

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