Boswell says industry needs to know more about the cost of renewable energy targets
This is the text of s statement issued today by Nationals’ Senator Ron Boswell:
The Nationals Queensland Senator Ron Boswell said today that industry should become more informed of the costs to their businesses from the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
“The Senate Economics Committee will be holding a public inquiry into the RET on 5 and 6 August with submissions closing today, however to date very few businesses have calculated the full extent of how the RET will affect them,” Senator Boswell said.
“The main focus for business has been the Emissions Trading Scheme, however I have found that the RET will also add a significant additional cost burden to energy users.
“My office has prepared a spreadsheet, using government numbers, that gives business the ability to calculate the costs of the RET from 2010 to 2020 so that they can have some understanding of how they will be affected.
Senator Boswell said that he will be writing a letter to businesses that wrote submissions to the Senate Inquiry into Climate Policy, urging them to look at how the RET will affect their business.
“Until I made inquiries about the RET, my understanding was that there was some knowledge within industry of how it would affect them, but to date I have found that this is not the case.
“Whilst the closing date for submissions to the Senate Inquiry is today, I would urge businesses who are concerned about the increased costs to make late submissions.
“A KPMG survey showed that only 15% of businesses were confident they have knowledge of all the elements of a CPRS and it is my belief that less know about the RET.
“My sampling of business showed that there was hardly any understanding of the RET and that very few businesses have calculated the additional costs of the 20% renewable target.
“The costs of the RET would be passed on to the end user and would be on top of the extra burden to industry of an Emissions Trading Scheme,” Senator Boswell said.
“The Energy Supply Association told the Senate Committee on Climate Policy that the cost of power would rise by 40 to 50% by 2020 if the Rudd Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme and the RET were passed.”
Senator Boswell said that according to government commissioned modelling the subsidy paid by energy users to make renewable power competitive would be $822 million in the year 2010 rising to $1.9 billion in 2020 with an accumulated cost of more than $14 billion.
“These subsidies do not include the cost of network infrastructure required to support renewable energy, estimated by industry to be somewhere between $20 and $25 billion.”
According to their submission to the Senate Inquiry, the RET would cost “the Catholic Healthcare and Catholic Age Care an additional $1.02 million in 2010 to cover extra costs rising to $2.7 million in 2020.”
“A leading abattoir group said that the RET would cost their business an extra $314,500 in 2010 and escalating to $848,000 in 2020 with a total cumulative total cost of more than $6 million.
“A regional dairy cooperative estimate the RET costs will be $800,000 in 2010 rising to $1.8million in 2020. This is in addition to the estimated CPRS costs that the business will face of $14 million,” Senator Boswell said.
“I have also found that there will be cost increases to a small regional ice cream factory of around $17,000 in the first year of the RET.
“The RET will introduce new costs to energy users, so it is important that they should become aware of how this policy will affect their business.”