Friday, 1 August 2014

Australian Wind Energy Wasn't Generating 'Nothing' In July

Whilst on holiday, in Germany, I stumbled across something that filled me with instantaneous joy. It's from a columnist at the Herald Sun, named Terry McCrann, with the headline "WHEN THE WIND DOESN'T BLOW, THE POWER DOESN'T SWITCH ON":
"On Monday, all the wind farms in Southern Australia, all the hundreds of turbines scattered across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, altogether produced exactly zero — nothing, nada, zip, zilch — power for two hours smack in the middle of the day.
Indeed, right through most of the working day — from 11am in the morning until after 8pm that night — the total output of all the wind farms was effectively zero for that entire period. 
But over those nine hours they pumped out at most just 120MW, barely 4 per cent of their capacity (sic), and for most of the time much less even than that. 
That included those two hours, from 3pm to 5pm, of absolutely no power
...these wind farms are scattered from as far west as Port Lincoln to east of Canberra, from the top of Tasmania to way north of Adelaide, from coastal sites to tops of country hills, and from all of them, for those two hours not a single MW of power."
The pitiable headline writer (tasked with awkwardly cramming a hook onto an article that is largely about the fact that wind speeds change over time) didn't give much thought to the fact that the power actually did 'switch on', during the times at which wind speeds were low.

The reason this sort of thing makes me happy is because it's not very hard to make fun of. To be fair, we can't expect a piece of writing that descends instantaneously into self-parody to be hard to make fun of.

The author seems to have an awkward relationship with the concept of 'zero. He's fond of it, as evidenced by the fact that he summoned his thesaurus when describing it. But his dictionary seems to have been misplaced. This is a chart of the time period during which NEM-based wind farms produced "exactly zero — nothing, nada, zip, zilch":



It's low, but it's non-zero, meaning McCrann's assertions were wrong.

I love watching reality mercilessly trample the feelpinions regularly laid out by conservative columnists, like a giant mechanical elephant strolling over an out-of-date Kit Kat.

These articles on wind power output are particularly fun examples of where emotionally-driven ranting collides comically with the need to try and gracelessly wedge some skerrick of numeracy amongst a forest of feels.

So what about the claim that wind farms were, between 11am and 8pm, somehow simultaneously producing 'effectively zero' (wat) and 120 megawatts?



There are peaks at 126 megawatts during the time McCrann angrily insists it was no greater than 120, but hey, what's a few megawatts between friends?

The total amount of energy produced by wind farms during that nine hour period was 521 megawatt hours. Considering the average Australian home uses about 18 kilowatt hours per day, you could have theoretically powered about 521,000/18 =  28,944 homes for a day each during McCrann's nine hour period of 'effective zero' output.

At wind's minimum output during that period, 15 megawatts, you could still have powered 15/((18/24)/1000) = 20,000 average Australian homes (depending, obviously, on how much power each home was actually using).

The fact that McCrann is, quite literally, wrong about his claims, isn't all that surprising. What's more interesting to me is why he opts for the analytical approach of 'ignore nearly all data available'.

Below, we can look at Monday's total output - I've highlighted the time he's ignored, and the times he's discussed:



The probability that Terry McCrann will say things about wind power seems to increase as the wind speed decreases. No doubt, McCrann cast his eye over the output of wind farms over the previous weeks, and regarded all other data as a bizarre, hateful, green-conspiracy anomaly.

Here's wind farm output over the month of July, with the period that McCrann discussed highlighted in red:



This doesn't really give you a good idea of how often wind speeds are high, low and average. A better visualisation is a frequency histogram - this tells you how many hours that the NEM wind fleet spent at each output level. I've summarised the output levels into 50 megawatt bars:



The times at which wind speeds are low across the fleet of wind farms were not particularly common. The times at which total wind output was below 50 megawatts accounts for ~1.8% of total time. The times at which wind power output was higher accounts for the remaining 98.2% of July.

McCrann's furious focus on the small, brief periods when wind speeds are low reveal an important point - logical fallacy is a never-ending fountain of content for conservative columnists critical of renewable technology. In this instance, McCrann uses a 'straw-man fallacy' - he assumes advocates of renewables want only wind farms, and then critiques the rare periods at which the fleet has low output. Build a straw man, and gleefully tear it down.

McCrann also seems to deny the existing of the market operator's wind energy forecasting system, known as AWEFs:
"This is what we saw with Edis some weeks ago when he claimed that an analysis showed you could predict these sorts of “outages” an hour ahead of time (he originally claimed 24 hours, but corrected that); time enough to power up an alternative"
The fact that Tristan Edis followed up with market operator data showing forecasts 24 hours in advance has been, presumably, blanked out by McCrann's subconscious.

This isn't the last time that a conservative columnist will cherry-pick a short interval, and insist that they're being analytically honest. In this case, McCrann couldn't even get it right about the period he'd sliced out, making statements about 'zero output' that were quite literally false. McCrann's ability to take refuge in these brief periods is decreasing as installed wind capacity grows across the NEM. Here's one last chart - showing the percentage of time, each month, that wind power has spent at output between zero and fifty megawatts, since 2010:



The walls of the low-wind cherry-picking room are closing on its few, angry inhabitants. Soon, I suspect, I'll have to find my fun elsewhere.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Why Copenhagen Hasn't Seen A "Wind Turbine Syndrome" Pandemic

Right now, I'm 8.423 kilometres from an operational wind turbine. I'm in Copenhagen, right next to to the Middelgrunden offshore wind farm. The 40 megawatt facility has generated ~1,199 gigawatt hours in its lifetime.

Here are some of the symptoms the 'Waubra Foundation' say I might experience:

"People are reporting symptoms such as the body vibrations and the waking up at night in a panicked state out to 10km from operating wind turbines 
"Worsening diabetes 
"Tako tsubo heart attacks" 
"they can detect the unwelcome pulsating sensations particularly at night, out to 17 km from the nearest operating wind turbine" 
"Episodes of intense anger" 
"Interference patterns are responsible for the reports some residents and workers have given of experiencing strong physical forces which have knocked them to their knees, felt like a ‘punch in the chest’ or resulted in symptoms of an acute hypertensive crisis"
“Various people have described symptoms where they have described either chest or lip vibration, the lip vibrations have been described to me as from a distance of 10 kilometers away.” 

Curiously, I'm feeling pretty okay. This is despite the fact that 20 wind turbines are really quite close to Copenhagen. If we trace a ten kilometre radius around the wind farm:



So; why isn't the city of Copenhagen wracked by the ravages of 'wind turbine syndrome'? I think there are two reasons.

The groups that promote wind turbine syndrome do so, largely, in English speaking countries. It's their continued promulgation of the concept that seems to lend itself towards the reporting of 'symptoms'. This is something I've explored previously on this blog, here, here and here.

One way of identifying geographic spread is examining lists of individuals speaking about 'wind turbine syndrome'. In this case, most are from English-speaking countries. 
This is an important factor, but it's not the whole story. Even if Denmark had its own 'wind turbine syndrome' organisation, I strongly suspect the phenomenon wouldn't take hold. The Middelgrunden Wind Farm happens to be half-owned by Middelgrunden Wind Cooperative - 10,000 investors that own 10 of the 20 turbines.

I think this plays a big part in why wind farms are so readily accepted by the residents of Copenhagen, and more generally, most of Denmark. Here, there's no simmering discontent for groups like the 'Waubra Foundation' to feed off and worsen. Their supply has no demand; and so, 'wind turbine syndrome' holds no sway.

The close interplay between community discontent and the activities of Australian anti-wind groups comes into stark relief, when you're sitting in a city that considers the idea of 'wind turbine syndrome' a fleeting fascination.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Some charts I made whilst drinking a beer in Singapore

Right now, I'm sitting inside Changi airport. It's humid, I'm tired, I ate a weird burger that had some sauce in it that I did't know what it was, and I'm about to board a 13.5 hour flight. There's a pool of koi gazing curiously at the grey sheen of my equally-exhausted laptop.

Basically, I should have other stuff on my mind, but I can't stop thinking about the electrical output of a certain set of machines in a certain state, on a certain continent. 

Australia's Eastern seaboard has an interconnected electricity market, that's sort-of segregated into states. The states are interconnected, but each has its own price, generation, demand and forecasts, from the perspective of the market operator. 

The National Electricity Market, as illustrated by the market operator
This week, in the South Australian region, wind power has supplied a fairly large percentage of the total generation in the state. I won't pre-empt any post-week calculations by declaring what that percentage is, but it's going to be freaking huge, I bet. 

For now, just revel in a couple of charts comparing the output of wind farms to other generators in SA. 

It's not a big state, and, yes, it can draw power from Victoria during a shortfall of supply, or during network congestion. That doesn't take away from the significance of a chunk of our electricity network managing to actually capture the available wind resource, and offset a huge quantity of emissions (given that we'd otherwise have had to source the power from fossil fuels). 

Here's the generation for the month, showing average daily generation (in megawatts). I think this neatly illustrates that, most of the time, wind power contributes to SA's mix, but sometimes it really dominates, and that's what's happened this week:
It's pretty clear from that chart that the presence of wind seems to correlate with lower output from the fossil fuel generators in SA - coal and gas. At one point this week, the coal-fired power station, Port Augusta, shut off. My bet is that it had something to do with the high levels of wind penetration in the state. It might not be, but that's my suspicion. Wind outdid fossil fuels for most of the week, so far:



At the time of writing this blog post (23:05 26/06/2014 AEST), the percentage of wind power in SA is at 69% of total South Australian generation.

The friendly bartender here at Changi airport told me, as he handed me my refreshing and very-welcome beer, that Singapore's current percentage of wind power is precisely zero. It's nice to know we're ahead of the curve. A little patriotic pride on my global trawl. Here's SA's history, since 2005:


Friday, 13 June 2014

'Wind Turbine Syndrome' Causes Mink Mutations, And Other Correlations

Logical fallacies are everywhere. Flick open the newspaper and hear the latest assertion from your politician-of-choice, and you'll see one being used to advocate a course of action, framed in something that sounds popular, but doesn't really make a lot of sense, once you look closer. They're usually swirled with little portions of truth.

Sometimes, we see fallacies in their purest form; devoid of any truth. This happened recently when a group named the 'World Council For Nature' issued an urgent, graphic press release:


Surprisingly, this isn't the first time the issue of wind turbines and mink has been raised. The 'World Council For Nature' is, seemingly, comprised of a single individual - Mark Duchamp, an anti-wind activist based in Europe, CEO of the 'European Platform Against Windfarms'. Presumably, the press release is more credible if it comes from a group with an ambiguous name.

Duchamp sent a letter to the Australian Medical Association (AMA) back in April, after the AMA issued a position statement about wind farms and health issues. He wrote:

"In Denmark, which is the EU’s leader in mink farming, millions of Danish kroners were lost in damaged pelts when wind turbines started to operate near a mink farm. The animals became aggressive, attacking one another, and resulting in many deaths"

In the space of two months, the story had changed from aggressive mink mauling each other to a story of genetic mutations and miscarriages. Duchamp's press release was, unsurprisingly, picked up by the website windutrbinesyndrome.com:


In this instance, the fact that the story was ignored by the media is taken not as a marker of faulty claims, but as evidence of a conspiracy to censor.

As it happens, it was picked up by one outlet - the conservative news/opinion website Breitbart published it in full. They open with sentences no comedian could ever match, in terms of sheer comic perfection:

"A new wind farm has been linked to the premature births of over 1,600 mink at a fur farm in Denmark last month. Veterinarians have ruled out viruses and food as possible causes, leaving the 460ft (140 metre)-high wind turbines as the only variable that has changed since last year"

Your average human being would be able to spot the reasoning error made in that sentence pretty quickly. It seems the website isn't populated by many capable of doing so - the comments are lathered with credulity and outrage. James Delingpole, a conservative commentator with an open disdain for climate science, tweeted it. It's fascinating to see this side-by-side with his avowed climate change denial:




So, what's going on here? This is a textbook example of why the phenomenon of 'wind turbine syndrome' has such a varied list of symptoms attributed to it (currently, 236).

Any event that occurs with a variable radius of wind turbines (the largest I've seen is 125 kilometres, so far) is, in the eyes of proponents of 'wind turbine syndrome', a candidate outcome of the disease. This is what happens when we decide careful scientific examination is irrelevant, with regards to establishing causality.

More interesting is the ideological fervour driving this attitude. Delingpole's intense, sarcastic skepticism directed at climate science and scientists (now easily on par with your standard anti-vaxxer in terms of sheer archaic denial) is contrasted starkly against the absolute, unquestioning credulity with which he accepts the increasingly absurd claims being issued in press releases by anti-wind groups.

You can make your own spurious correlations using a tool called Google Correlate. Using this, I found that 'wind turbine syndrome' interest peaks at the same time as interest in Wonder Woman. Coincidence, or evil green socialist comic conspiracy? You be the judge.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

If Gas Is 'Renewable', Nothing Is

In the Victorian government's as-yet unreleased submission to the panel currently reviewing Australia's federal renewable energy legislation, there lies a fairly outlandish suggestion, one that I feel really deserves some close scrutiny. Tom Arup writes for The Age, describing the suggested course of action:

"The Napthine government says it is concerned that "reliable baseload capacity" is being driven out of the electricity market and calls for consideration of including gas-fired power under the target to help the power grid cope with times of peak demand"

The legislation lists the types of generators that are eligible for inclusion in the renewable energy target scheme:

"17  What is an eligible renewable energy source?
             (1)  The following energy sources are eligible renewable energy sources:
                     (a)  hydro;
                     (b)  wave;
                     (c)  tide;
                     (d)  ocean;
                     (e)  wind;
                      (f)  solar;
                     (g)  geothermal‑aquifer;
                     (h)  hot dry rock;
                      (i)  energy crops;
                      (j)  wood waste;
                     (k)  agricultural waste;
                      (l)  waste from processing of agricultural products;
                    (m)  food waste;
                     (n)  food processing waste;
                     (o)  bagasse;
                     (p)  black liquor;
                     (q)  biomass‑based components of municipal solid waste;
                      (r)  landfill gas;
                      (s)  sewage gas and biomass‑based components of sewage;
                      (t)  any other energy source prescribed by the regulations.
             (2)  Despite subsection (1), the following energy sources are not eligible renewable energy sources:
                     (a)  fossil fuels;
                     (b)  materials or waste products derived from fossil fuels."

It's this subsection that we can presume Napthine is advocating the alteration of. Namely; shifting fossil fuels upwards. 

For every unit of energy you get from gas, you get about half of the carbon emissions, compared to coal. But gas makes up about 12% (it varies across the year) of the fuel types used to make electricity on the National Electricity Market (NEM): 


Despite gas having a lower emissions intensity than coal, it's still a fossil fuel, and it still comes burdened with carbon pollution. In 2012, usage of natural gas for electricity generation was responsible for 21,259,810 tonnes of carbon emissions. 


The RET legislation doesn't define 'renewable', but I like this one, from the US Energy and Information Administration, which outlines the advantages and limitations of renewable energy: 
"Renewable energy sources are energy resources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited. They are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Renewable energy resources include: biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave action, and tidal action"
It takes millions of years for natural gas deposits to form (note that creationists beg to differ). For natural gas to be classified as renewable we'd have to use insanely tiny amounts of it. 

Categories are meaningless if we decide the rules governing them can be broken at will. Incentivising production from lower carbon sources (in addition to low-carbon sources) has benefits and disadvantages, but clumsily deciding that the term 'renewable' can apply to anything isn't a fantastic idea. 

If gas is 'renewable', then coal immediately qualifies as renewable, too. The term then becomes synonymous with 'fuel', and loses all meaning. 

Using gas instead of coal does reduce carbon emissions. But, using gas and renewable energy instead of coal reduces carbon emissions even further (and it's cheap). We can get that done without savaging the categorisations in our energy system. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

The personal RET submissions so far - 100% supportive of clean technology

So, the panel reviewing the Renewable Energy Target has begun publishing submissions. I've extracted all of the personal ones, and copy/pasted them below. At the time of writing, these are all of the submissions that aren't from organisations or institutions. 

There's 54 in total, and all of them support current Australian renewable energy policy, and strongly advocate the preservation of it. 

Submissions closed on the 16th of May

Some are from people who work in the renewable energy industry, but there are also concerned citizens, engineers, manufacturing workers, ornithologists, and people who live in towns near wind farms and solar developments. 

There's the possibility the panel have group the submissions into positive / negative, and are uploading them in this order (rather than being uploaded by date of submission, or randomly), but even if this is the case, it's nice to see a fair amount of written support for the clean energy industry, and a nice way to end the week. 

Happy reading! 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

30/4/14
Mrs Trudy Morland-Hunt
VIC

Submission re RET Review.
I write to let you know I am very supportive of the RET, in fact I believe the RET target should be much higher.
Our family has a domestic solar system installed on our house roof. It’s a 4.5 Kilowatt capacity. This has enabled us to power our household without payment plus we are making a small amount of money from the decision to go with Renewable Energy.
We have a household of 4 people, 2 adults and 2 sons aged 11 & 8. Myself and my husband both work full time. We would not be able to afford to pay regular power bills with how much electricity has been continuing to rise and I believe will continue to rise.
Our family decided to go with solar and we are very happy that we did. I am very concerned about any changes to the RET. We are fully supportive of renewable energy and believe it shuld be heavily supported by the Australian Government.
I recently returned from an overseas trip to many countries where I saw just how extensively wind and solar farms are being utalised. I spoke to many people in relation to renewable energy whilst I was overseas and they were all fully supportive.
In fact one of the great things I saw when I was overseas was that some industries are being powered by one or two wind turbines, close to the premises on the land of the particular company. This appears to be an amazingly good use of renewable energy for all concerned.
In my opinion the Australian Government should be looking to increase renewable energy in Australia, not decrease it. Maybe you could do some research in relation to the German renewable energy model which seems to work very efficiently.

Signed :Trudy Morland – Hunt


I’m attaching some photo’s I took which are of a solar farm and also a small scale business being powered by its own renewable energy source, the wind tower.





31/3/14

WANNON
Mr Dan Tehan
Member for Wannon
190 Gray St
Hamilton

dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au



Dear Dan,

As a member of your electorate, I would like to tell you how community groups, families and infrastructure around Australia benefits from the Renewable Energy Target and why it is important for you to support the scheme when it’s reviewed this year. 
My name is Peter Gram and I live in the Portland area and I work for Pacific Hydro Australia, and have done so for 6 and a half years. I work in a full time position for this company. Prior to working for Pacific Hydro Australia, I worked in the Vestas Blade plant in Portland for 4 years and on turbines in Yambuk.
I am currently the Supervisor for the Cape Nelson and Cape Bridgewater wind farms.
I am well trained in this work environment and have a skill set which I believe is best suited to this work place. I gained all these qualification because I believe in the renewable energy scheme and the longevity of it.
I have three grandchildren who I wish to grow up into a world that is not suffering the horrors of the impending carbon footprint. That is a cleaner and greener world.
I urge you to strongly support the upcoming review and to remember that people rely on this industry to earn a living as well as believing in the basic principles of renewable energy.
Across Australia, the Renewable Energy Target has delivered $18 billion of investment and tens of thousands of jobs since it was introduced by then Prime Minister John Howard in 2001.
With the support of federal and state governments, two million home clean energy systems such as solar panels and solar hot water systems have been installed – many of these in households with lower and middle incomes.
But in the future, similar households will have much less ability to take control of their power bills by installing their own energy systems if the Renewable Energy Target is tampered with.
Meanwhile, due to the Renewable Energy Target, the equivalent of more than one million Australian homes is now powered by wind energy. Large-scale renewable energy projects like wind farms, hydro facilities and bioenergy plants have helped keep wholesale electricity prices lower. In addition, they are helping protect Australians against the increasing cost of gas – predicted to triple this decade.
Removing or reducing the Renewable Energy Target will remove these benefits and have flow-on effects to the power bills of households and businesses.
I have looked at my training and skills as a long term investment and at my age I don’t not wish to undertake further training in another work environment. I love the wind farms, and have engaged within this workplace for a long time.
If the RET is downgraded I may be out of a job, and that is not what I would like to see.
The review of the Renewable Energy Target will be completed in the next few months so it is critical that your views on the RET are clear and take into account local views such as mine.

Kind regards,



Peter Gram

Vic


31/3/14

WANNON
Mr Dan Tehan
Member for Wannon
190 Gray St
Hamilton

dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au



Dear Dan,

As a member of your electorate, I would like to tell you how community groups, families and infrastructure around Australia benefits from the Renewable Energy Target and why it is important for you to support the scheme when it’s reviewed this year. 
My name is Lee Harrison and I live in the Portland area and I work for Pacific Hydro Australia, and have done so for 6 years. I work in a full time position for this company.
I have an administration role within Pacific Hydro Australia which includes administration duties attached to wind farms within Victoria and interstate.
I am very happy in my employment and one of the reasons that attracted me to this role was that I firmly believe this company is trying to actually “make a difference” and I do believe in renewable energy, have a look at the disaster in Morwell at the minute!
I would like to think that when I have grandchildren that they would be able to live in a cleaner, greener world.

I urge you to strongly support the upcoming review and to remember that people rely on this industry to earn a living as well as believing in the basic principles of renewable energy.
Across Australia, the Renewable Energy Target has delivered $18 billion of investment and tens of thousands of jobs since it was introduced by then Prime Minister John Howard in 2001.
With the support of federal and state governments, two million home clean energy systems such as solar panels and solar hot water systems have been installed – many of these in households with lower and middle incomes.
But in the future, similar households will have much less ability to take control of their power bills by installing their own energy systems if the Renewable Energy Target is tampered with.
Meanwhile, due to the Renewable Energy Target, the equivalent of more than one million Australian homes is now powered by wind energy. Large-scale renewable energy projects like wind farms, hydro facilities and bioenergy plants have helped keep wholesale electricity prices lower. In addition, they are helping protect Australians against the increasing cost of gas – predicted to triple this decade.
Removing or reducing the Renewable Energy Target will remove these benefits and have flow-on effects to the power bills of households and businesses.
I’m worried that changes to the RET could facilitate in the company downsizing and me being out of a job. They may downsize projects and I may be asked to go part time, or move to a different location. None of which is good for me or my family. This causes me to stress.
I hope you give due consideration to the people who may write to you and understand that if this was not important to me, I would not have taken the time to write to you in person.
Please stay in touch with what members of your electorate need.
The review of the Renewable Energy Target will be completed in the next few months so it is critical that your views on the RET are clear and take into account local views such as mine.

Kind regards,



Lee Harrison

Vic


Review of the Renewable Energy Target 2014
Submission
Brian Foster
SA

Dear Panel Review Members,
My name is Brian Foster, I am a farmer situated 75 km north west of Pt Lincoln in South Australia.
I urge you to conduct your review in the context of the recently released IPCC Working Group’s one , two and three reports, and the soon to be released synthesis report ( approx. October 2014)..
These reports represent the best peer reviewed science, and the current pinnacle of human understanding and knowledge of the issues of Climate Change and the continuing greenhouse gas forcing’s of the radiative imbalance of the earth’s atmosphere, and the forcing’s of the Co2 driven acidification of the earth’s oceans!
These issues and those other issues of sustainability and use of resources to sustain a rapidly growing global population, are very clearly prime issues for this generation to address,  if we want to accept any responsibility for our collective actions to date, or indeed accept our moral responsibility to leave for future generations, any hope of being able to enjoy life on this planet as we have known it!
You also need to take account of the global atmospheric carbon budget required to keep the increase in average global temperatures to a target of 2C above preindustrial levels, (the Kyoto agreement).
The graphic from IPCC AR% WG1 SPM 2013 Chapter 6, Ciais et al.2013,shows the maths associated with this budget, and timelines.
While it has taken 150 years to accumulate 513GT additional Carbon into the atmosphere to date, it will on current emissions pathways, only take a further 20/30 years to accumulate a further 487 Gt Carbon in  the atmosphere, thereby using up the budget of 1000GT Carbon to prevent temperatures rising above 2C !
Many earths systems, including those that support the production of food, and the provision of fresh water, will struggle to adapt to this new state, and indeed it is likely that major transformative change will be well underway.
These two issues: A. the latest science.
                                 B. the state of the atmospheric carbon budget.
AND THE RESULTANT CONSEQUENCES urgently need global, national and local policy initiatives that seriously and effectively address these problems.

In this context I contend that the current RET policies go some small way to addressing these issues, by way of addressing a market failure, in that the price of carbon does not include a true cost of carbon or its effect on earths systems (it does not address externalities) and therefore the market currently will not be able to provide support to alternative technologies that need to see carbon removed from our energy generation systems urgently (see IPCC WG3 fifth report).
While the current RET policies have encouraged the uptake of renewable infrastructure, it is by no means sufficient to address the need to de-carbonise our energy system, and while renewables will need to be an important part of the Global and Australian energy systems of the future, new generation nuclear power needs to be seriously investigated at least in a global context.
The other issue re the effectiveness of the RET Policies, is that of uncertainty, substantial and sustained infrastructure development needs certainty, and the continual review and political stop start environment, is toxic to major infrastructure development.  Australia clearly needs a long-term vision and community ownership to chart our way forward on these pivotal complex issues, the current short term self-interest drivers of our political system seem not to be able to deliver vision, leadership, and political statesman ship.

This review is important, and maintaining the current policy for its design life at least allows us time to come to terms with the unfolding reality of a warming planet, and the development of the necessary global initiative’s, that will emerge.
Australia is a global citizen, we have extremely high carbon emissions per head of population, we are a wealthy nation, and we have skill education and capacity to help lead and set example.

Again, I urge you to frame your report in the context of the seriousness of the problem of the human driven radiative imbalance facing our planet, and support the small initial steps that are currently in place, with a hope of further real and effective policy development over time, both at a national level and also on a global scale.

Thankyou for receiving this submission, I am always happy to expand or provide clarification if necessary.
Yours Sincerely,

Brian Foster
6/05/2014


Received 1 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am a young landowner with property in an area that is slated to have a wind farm installed (Berrybank, Western Victoria).
This project has stalled prior to the commencement of major works due to the operators not being able to secure power generation contracts. This is due to the uncertainty with the RET scheme.

As our climate continues to change, so does the variability of our farm income. If we were able to count on a percentage of our total income from this wind farm, our business would have a more certain future; allowing us to invest in local personnel and services to build the business and support the local community.

Local contractors would be used for the construction and ongoing maintenance of the wind farm. This can only be a good thing for our local economy, which I'm sure you know has been hurt by closures and cutbacks in the manufacturing sector.
If the wind farm project does not come to fruition we will need to seriously consider our position on whether to retain our farm or sell.

After the period of general financial uncertainty of the Labor government, we were looking forward to a sense of optimism in our economy when the Liberals were brought to power. Unfortunately this constant review cycle of the RET scheme seems to be killing that optimism each time. Businesses like ours will live and die based on the decisions made from this review.

I hope that these matters raised can be considered while the RET scheme is reviewed.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Fisher
Victoria

Received 2 May 2014

Hello RET Review Panel,
I’m a trainee blaster and painter and left school last year. I work for Keppel Prince Engineering in their wind tower division. I like having a job. I’m putting my earnings in the bank to save them until I leave home.
I hope you can support the Renewable Energy Target. I wanted to be an apprentice fitter, but there’s no work for fitters in Portland right now, so having this job is really important for me. Wind tower jobs keep me in work and wind turbines are also, as a bonus, a good, renewable source of energy.
I hope you can understand my point of view and keep the Renewable Energy Target, not cut it.
Yours sincerely,
Ben Plush
Victoria

Received 2 May 2014

ATTENTION: RET Review Panel

I am a full time planner at the Macarthur Wind Farm in Victoria, and I hope you can keep the Renewable Energy Target.
I’ve been working here for 18 months and appreciate being able to have job security working in a clean industry. This job is also much closer to my home than my previous role.
Before joining the wind power industry I worked in multiple manufacturing roles at aluminium smelters in Portland and Geelong over 30 years. This job brings me a good new challenge in  a smaller workplace.
I also really appreciate that my switch in role helps me assist the climate and create a better future for the world in my own small way.
Please retain the Renewable Energy Target. I would really appreciate being able to continue my role in this clean industry.
Thank you,
Colin Keegan
VIC
Received 2 May 2014

Dear Panel of the RET Review;

I believe that keeping the Renewable Energy Target on track and including strong wind energy development as a priority along side solar and other renewable sources is important for the future of Australia and it's people.

While solar panels installed at private residents are an important part of our energy future, as a renter on a disability support pension this is an option not open to myself nor many others.

I believe wind energy development makes clean, renewable energy accessible to all Australians, while at the same time revitalizing rural towns by bringing lasting jobs and industry.

I am proud of our beautiful and majestic wind farms and believe there should be more of them. To me they are a symbol of an Australia who moves with the times, joining the leaders in cleaner, smarter living for all.

That is an Australia I want to be a part of.

Lets not trash our great land by eradicating things like the Renewable Energy Target off the back of the greed of a few. Lets continue to be a world leader in emission reductions, quality of living and natural beauty.

Lets be a leader in cleaner, smarter living for all.

Yours sincerely,
Emerald  Buller
Vic

Received 2 May 2014

To the RET Review Panel,
I am a blaster at Keppel Prince Engineering Portland, who build wind towers. I have three young children and a partner to support, so I hope you can help protect my job by keeping the Renewable Energy Target.
I have worked at KP for 8 years on and off and would like to be able to keep working here as this job means I earn a wage and my future is more stable.

When KP didn’t have enough work on I had to take 10 months off and 6 months off at two times. During that time I couldn’t get any work for the first month or so. My dad was a fencing contractor, so I had a little bit of work with him, then I took on some work planting pine trees for pine plantations. Most of this work was a long way away from home. Sometimes I would have to drive for 1 1/2 hours over 100km away very early in the morning through country where kangaroos were often out on the roadside, so this took me away from my family more than I’d like, and made the journey a little more dangerous (with the roos).
The tree planting work was only seasonal, so it wasn’t really anything that could keep me employed for a long time. And I earned lots of tickets with Journey Management like getting a HR licence, but companies like Mibus Brothers needed people to do semi-trailer based work, not blokes with licences like mine. I also looked for work at Graincorp, but there were lots competing for the work at the time and I couldn’t get anything.

I have my job back at KP for now, but if the RET was decreased I would most likely lose my job.
I was born in Portland and want to keep my family here. I’m in the footy and basketball club and my daughter does dancing. My extended family is here and I really want to be able to raise my family in Portland. But if I lose my job I expect I’d have to work out of Portland. There just isn’t the work here for people with my qualifications.
I also think it’s really good if the government can support more renewable energy in the future because it has much less of an impact on small towns. For example I went to Traralgon recently for a basketball tournament where there were at least 320 players and plus families visiting the town for a few days. But the tournament was nearly moved because the cleanup is still happening after the Hazelwood coal mine fire. Wind turbines are is obviously a much cleaner way of producing energy.
Beyond Portland, from what I understand, increasing competition in the market by building more wind farms to compete with coal-fired power will reduce the cost of bills to households. If it lowers the price of your bill, it’s an advantage for sure.
Please keep the RET. Don’t cut it.
Sincerely,
Jeremy Morton
Victoria

Received 2 May 2014

Dear panel,
I am a full time service technician at the Macarthur Wind Farm, one hour’s drive away from my home. I have worked for Vestas here for two years.
Before 2012 I worked for a Portland company as a fitter and turner, and did some work on a local wind farm during that time, among other jobs. I continued my apprenticeship when I shifted to Vestas here in Macarthur, and appreciated that I had longer-term work and a better income guaranteed as a result.
As as well as better job security, working in this sector means I’m helping protect the environment.
If the Renewable Energy Target is cut there are going to be less jobs and availability of work like mine in Australia, which concerns me. That would be a pity. Please keep the Renewable Energy Target.

Sincerely,
Rory Angus
VIC

Received 2 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

 Don't cut the RET!

Yours sincerely,
ashley leith
Victoria

2 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am a Service technician at the macarthur wind farm


Yours sincerely,
Brett Cooter
Victoria

Received 2 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I currently work for a wind farm company and i am worried that if the RET is cut or reduced then there will be a mass loss of jobs in our industry. I have been working in this industry since i left high school in 2002. I have been working on setting up new projects all through Australia and i see the benefits the small towns get from a wind farm being built in the area. Local shops benefit, fuel stations accomodation the list goes on. Please consider the environments future.

Yours sincerely,
Brendan  Hucker
Victoria

Received 2 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am currently employed by the wind industry and would like to see the RET remain as Wind energy provides myself my partner and two children a source of income and also a green source of power for the community

I have been employed within this indudtry for 6 years as now as a full time staff member at the Macarthur Windfarm. This employment means that we as a family can live localy and support the economy by shopping schooling and suporting community groups such as the cfa and ses. due to me being able to stay / live localy .


 

Yours sincerely,
David  Hedger

Received 2 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,
    as an employee in the wind industry I have seen the positives of the RET and would like to ensure a clean future for my children and future generations, we can not rely on fossile fuels for the long term and need green energy to survive.




Yours sincerely,
Dayton Knight
Victoria

Received 3 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I have several points to make:

-Morewell was just another blight on the history of coal. Can you point to any disasters associated with renewables?

-Water used by goal/gas power generation is unsustainable and destructive at its source. Wind and solar don't use any water to generate power.

-Climate change will make us suffer and most likely kill us. RET's themselves won't save us but will at least head us in the right direction.

-Mercury in fish is due to coal. So unnecessary.

Sincerely

Yours sincerely,
Bryony Edwards
VIC

Received 3 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,
I am a supporter of wind energy. I am a shareholder in Hepburn Wind. I also support solar. Wind energy is one of the forms of renewable energy that we can rely on now and in the future. Wind energy is economically attractive, safe and clean. The RET is an important mechanism in the transition to the clean energy we should have now and in the future. The regular reviews of the RET are a waste of money and create uncertainty to an industry which is important for our future. Planning for and building power stations is a long term process. Having RET reviews every 2 years is like having an election every few weeks.
The RET review could be doing something useful, it could be planning for the renewable energy target for 2025 and 2030. I suggest 40% by 2025 and 60% by 2030.

Yours sincerely,
Colin Lambie
VIC

Received 3 May 2014

Dear Panel Members

I write in response to the request for public submissions to this review. I do not represent any commercial interest for or against but write as a private individual concerned that most political leaders seem to assume any serious action can be put off indefinitely. 

My position is to support the RET or other schemes which encourage funds,technologies and organisation which can rapidly lower the production of carbon emissions.The most recent IPCC report states that the easiest and most economic route to avoiding catastrophic climate change is to end the era of dirty fossil fuels and to create a world of clean energy. The sooner we get on with this the lower will be the cost and the surer it will be that we avoid future climate changes that are impossible to cope with.. . 
As a responsible member of the international community Australia should participate in this change especially given our position as one of the world's largest per capita emitters,
It is startling to me that businessmen in the resource areas particularly who obviously have a vested interest in continuing the status quo are somehow deemed to be more credible than those international scientists and others who have made it their business to collaboratively study the issue of carbon pollution and its effects over a substantial period of time.

Such deniers should hesitate before they drive over their next concrete road bridge, after all its construction is based on the same principles of physics and mathematics that underlie
climate science.

Sincerely

Gordon Monsbourgh
VIC

Received 3 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

Australia needs to be at the forefront of Wind Turbines technology. Diversification of power generation is essential for securing our energy supplies. Transmitting power from the Latrobe Valley to Western Victoria is inefficient, environmentally unsound and costly to initiate and maintain.


Yours sincerely,
Russell Freemantle
VIC

Received 5 May 2014
Dear RET Review Panel
 I am employed in the renewable energy industry and wish to express my views on the review.
 It is very disappointing to be locked into a continuing cycle of reviews of the renewable energy target as it creates significant uncertainty and prevents investment in the industry.  The company I’m working for has a significant development pipeline which has been put on hold for the moment.  We are also contemplating abandoning domestic projects completely in favour of overseas ones as the investment climate in Australia has become untenable.  These are funds which would have flown into regional areas of Australia and created jobs there rather than going overseas.
 Reducing or scrapping the renewable energy target will have an adverse impact on investment and jobs in Australia while it will do very little to reduce energy bills to households.  Recent newspaper articles reported that the renewable energy industry is actually helping to lower electricity prices, rather than increasing them.  This makes intuitive sense as adding capacity into any competitive market is bound to keep prices lower.
 Lastly, the RET helps to lower emissions and to reduce the potential impact of climate change on future generations.  Even if some remaining doubts exist over the contribution of manmade emissions to climate change, the potential long term impact warrant us taking action today.  In my opinion this is a simple risk minimisation strategy.  Until science has proven that manmade emissions have not contributed to climate change we should continue to invest in mitigating any potential future impact.  If manmade emissions are not contributing to climate change, we have simply invested in new technology and made Australia less reliant on fossil fuels.  If we reduce or remove the RET and thereby add to global warming future generations will rightly point the finger at us and ask us why we did not do more when there still was time.   
 Yours sincerely
Dirk Legenhausen
VIC

Received 5 May 2014

Hi there,

Please maintain a strict RET.

Considering the ipcc's recent report, as a planet we are on the path to creating an inhabitable planet earth. Everyone needs to do their part; citizens, corporations and especially policey makers.

Australia needs to meet the rest of the it's obligations and keep this environment of ours sustainable for future generations.

The RET is an important step towards this end.

Cheers,

Michael

Received 5 May 2014

Please consider this submission in your RET review.

The RET has been a highly efficient way to incorporate clean energy into Australia's electricity system. It has had the following results:
- large decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in South Australia.
- lower wholesale electricity costs in South Australia.
- substantial economic benefit to regions particularly the mid-north of South Australia, Western Victoria and the NSW Southern Tablelands.
- tiny cost to electricity consumers.
- probable reduction in wholesale electricity prices.
- a large development pipeline of wind projects that can meet the requirements of the current RET.
- protection against rising gas prices causing electricity cost blowout.
- thousands of jobs in an industry of the future.

Please do not throw all this away. I ask that you keep the RET with current targets in place.

Regards
Richard Mackie



Received 5 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

Sorry last email was sent before completion.

With the mining sector capital expenditure ending , I think getting these windfarms up and running pronto gives billion of dollars work for contractors that are struggling at the moment.

I think certainty creates prosperity and can having 20% renewable energy really be a bad thing, regardless of if you believe in global warming.

Gas prices will rise significantly once the Gladstone LNG terminals are open for export and it will be good to have extra supply of electricity coming on from wind farms.

It will all work out just don't keep shifting the goal posts


Yours sincerely,
Rob Hussey
QLD

Received 5 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

Australia needs a smooth transition to a cleaner energy mix, and the RET is working, so why change it?

Cutting the RET won't end up cutting my power bill, but it will cost Australians jobs. And meddling with it now is a huge gamble to take on behalf of our children and grandchildren.

What is needed is a well planned transition from fossil fuels to a clener energy mix, with certainty for all players.

Changing the RET now would be like moving the goal posts during the third quarter.

Enough with the constant change and review - put Australia on a more sustainable path please.



Yours sincerely,
Sandra McKay
VIC

Received 5 May 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to the Australian Government's review closing 16 May 2014 and offer my submission below.

I live in the Electorate of Wills.  I am deeply concerned about climate change and see the adoption of small and large scale renewable energy playing an important role to de-carbonise the Australian economy and prepare it to be competitive in a carbon constrained future.  Globally, many countries are taking significant action.  I am a professional who has been in the renewable energy industry since the RET was legislated in 2001.

I urge the Australian Government to retain the RET scheme in its existing form which is intended to achieve 41,000 GWh of renewable energy by 2020, and to commit to extend the review interval to 5 years following the current review in 2014.  Both these actions are needed to create stable conditions to mobilise private capital to deepen Australia's clean energy transformation which the vast majority of Australian consumers support.
 
  1. The RET scheme comes at low cost to consumers ($1/week) with the bulk of recent consumer electricity price rises coming from over-investment in networks.
  2. Australian households will pay $50 more for electricity in 2020 if the RET is dumped because fewer renewables will mean more gas, which is set to triple in price in the coming decade.
  3. The RET is meeting its industry development goals, with $9bn of direct investment since scheme commencement in 2001 and more than 20,000 people currently employed in the renewable sector. 
  4. The economic trickle down benefit of the RET has especially benefited regional Australia.
  5. The RET is a proven economically efficient market mechanism.  Such mechanisms are used in many global jurisdictions including the USA and Europe.  It procures least cost new entrant renewable generation under competitive force.

Yours sincerely
Terry Teoh
VIC 

Received 5 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

After being employed in the Electrical Industry for over 40 years both in New Zealand and Australia, I have operated Hydro,Area Substations and wind farm High Voltage systems from 330kV down to 3.3kV, and believe that a combination between all forms of generation including Solar are critcal to and in the best interests of both Countries advancement.



Yours sincerely,
Vaughan Marshall
Victoria

Received 6 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,
As a land owner in western Victoria I would like to express my support for the Renewable Energy Target. Wind turbines on a farmers property virtually drought proofs his property an allows greater flexibility to his business. Farming is a tough operation and rural towns are going backwards because of lack of employment. Wind energy offers farmers income and the surrounding districts long term job opportunities in a clean industry with a strong future and a cleaner source of power to cut Australia's emissions. Renewable energy is the way of the future and I urge the Review Panel to recommend the Renewable Energy Target be retained.


Yours sincerely,
Barry Hirth
Victoria

Received 6 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I have worked in the renewable energy sector in Portland, Victoria since the year 2000 and wish to express my strong support for the Renewable Energy Target being increased rather than left the same or reduced.

Australia's RET is a long way short of those targets set overseas and we have a lot of catching up to do. We really should be setting higher targets to encourage innovation and local economic development. This equates to local jobs!

At a local level, it is sad to see companies such as Keppel Prince struggling to keep their workforce in tact due to the cyclical nature of the renewable energy sector. The main uncertainty for this sector is government policy and a lack of political support for renewable energy. Whenever the Federal Government announces a review of the RET, the banks immediately stop lending for renewable energy projects. This can put the brakes on the renewable energy sector for many months and sometimes it takes years to recover from such events.

At this point of time, we need the RET Panel to provide the Federal Government with a set of recommendations that will provide a bright future for the renewable energy industry in Australia. There is widespread public opinion supporting renewable energy right across Australia. Accordingly, there should also be a strong policy framework to support renewable energy as well.

Yours sincerely,
Danny Halstead
Victoria

Received 6 May 2014

RET Review Panel

The RET should be retained in full or better yet, expanded.  For the good of the planet and for future generations.

Regards, Dave Clarke
South Australia

When climate change is destroying the world as we know it, why is only about one person in a thousand making a serious effort to do anything about it?
Put 2kW of solar panels on your roof and you save about 3 tonnes CO2 per year; help get a 20 turbine wind farm built by spreading the facts on wind power and you will have a part in saving 180 000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." Robert Swan
"If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've never been in a room with a mosquito" - Annita Roddick
"Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself." - Sukhraj Dhillon

Received 6 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am a Melbourne-based business analyst who has been working within the Australian wind industry since 2008.  I have worked across a range of industries including banking, education and aviation but it is within this industry that I have found my perfect fit and my desire is to continue working in this industry until I retire.  In order to realise this dream, I need our industry to be sustainable.

I recognise that there is considerable debate about climate change.  I accept that a government needs to balance environmental considerations against economic indicators.  I appreciate that wind turbines have their opponents here in Australia.  This all leads me to feel very positive that you and your fellow panel members have been asked to review the renewable energy target.  This review is very timely and gives you all a perfect opportunity to confirm the current target or even to be bold and raise it further.

Australia is a country gifted with land that is perfect for developing wind farms.  Countries in Europe are forced to develop small non-economic wind farms in small pockets of land or to develop costly wind farms offshore which battle against the corrosive marine environment.  Instead we have been able to bring new construction jobs, ongoing long-term service technicians roles, flow on revenue to service providers and rental revenue to farmers in remote rural location such as Jamestown in South Australia.  These areas are sparsely populated and are susceptible to drought conditions.  However, they now have a steady profitable renewable industry in place supporting their communities.

Please take this chance to safeguard our industry.  We are passionate about renewable energy and truly believe that wind is the future of energy production in Australia.  Reverting back to a reliance on fossil fuels will harm our environment, exacerbate the already noticeable impacts of climate change on our country, harm our international reputation and lose the current government the support of the majority of the Australian public.  You have the chance to show real leadership.

Please do not cut the RET!

Yours sincerely,
Zac Oosten
VIC
Received 6 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,
The Rewable energy sector is an important industry for Australia, providing a long term clean energy source and billions of dollars of investment.

The exisitng targets must be retained (if not increased) to provide stability to the industry, and encourage further investment.

Many of Australia's rural communities suffer from the continuing move of young talented people into city based jobs or fly-in-fly-out mining jobs.  Wind Farms provide job opportunities, and emloyment stability in a wide range of rural communities that strengthens those communities (more young families in the region, increased support for community services and sporting clubs).

I encourage the panel and government to show some initiative, and not only support the retention of the RET, but commit to investing in the industry (increased local R&D, create Australian based training centres, and support increased apprentiship programs).

Yours sincerely,
Jason Beer
VIC

Received 6 May 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

If the RET is reduced then the development of Windfarms and clean energy sources may cease.

Windfarms are the only viable clean energy source available to Australia at this present time which is economical. If the only concern with them is visual it seems a small price to pay if the environment benefits compared to the production of coal?

When the rest of the world is trying to do the responsible thing of lowering emissions why would we consider cutting the RET.




Yours sincerely,
Matthew Onions
New South Wales

Received 17 April 2014

Dear Panel,

I would like to make the following submission in respect of the RET Review.

I support the retention and expansion of the RET that I believe is a crucial part of Australia’s Transition to the Low Carbon Economy. The RET works to create clean green jobs, stimulates sustainable economic growth and a provides a future for our children in a world threatened with human induced climate change.

As the  international competitiveness of renewable energy continues to outstrip that of fossil fuels, many more jobs will be created in the new low carbon economy  than will be lost in the  declining minerals sector whose commodity prices are falling as China moves away from coal-powered energy generation to renewable energy. At the same time stimulation of  renewable energy through the RET provides the opportunity for a resurgent manufacturing sector  to replace the loss of the motor vehicle industry with the manufacture  in Australia of renewable energy plant such as wind turbines that are difficult to transport from overseas.

This will create a virtuous circle in the service sector and a stimulus to sustainable economic growth, while helping to mitigate human induced climate change.


Yours faithfully

Andrew C Fraser
NSW

Received 24 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

As a farmer and land owner host to the Macarthur Wind farm I have seen first hand the benefits that renewable energy can bring to rural areas. The Macarthur wind farm is one of the largest wind farm in Australia, it took two years to build at a cost of over a billion dollars, it provided massive employment opportunities during construction to local people and business's and now that it is operational is the largest employer in our local area. From my families point of view the wind farm has allowed us to expand our business and inevitably the money that we make from hosting the wind farm gets spent and invested largely in the local area. Aside from the financial considerations I am also a strong believer that Australians need to lead the world in fighting man made climate change by being responsible global citizens and reducing our carbon footprint, one of the biggest ways we can do this is by cleaning up our electricity generation sector. Renewable energy projects need the RET to be in place and secure so that they can invest with confidence and we can then all enjoy the benefits of having a vibrant renewable energy sector. Global investment in all types of industries requires a stable environment if we as a country decided to constantly move the goal post then we should not be surprised when the rest of the world decides to invest its capital in other parts of the globe. We should not be surprised when our carbon emissions per head are one of the highest in the world that that rest of the world will use this as a legitimate reason not to do business with us or listen to us when we try to champion causes such as climate change. I believe the majority of Australians care about the environment and want to ensure that future generations of Australians live in a country that not only embraces sustainability  in all areas of life but can help lead the world. We need long term leadership on these issues and the RET is part of the answer, it has already provided an environment for significant investments such as Macarthur Wind farm and will continue to do so. So I submit to the review panel please do not cut. the RET.


Yours sincerely,
Hamish Officer
Victoria

Received 28 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

As the latest IPCC report shows it is urgent that all nations especially high percapita emitters of green house gases like Australia take effective action to reduce GHG emissions.

The RET has been an essential tool in encouraging investment in Australia in clean renewable energy. However we are a long way behind other developed nations in reducing emissions. and expanding the renewable energuy sector.

Our coal-based electricity generation sector was developed and funded directly by governments. Especially in Victoria ,with dirt cheap and dirty brown coal , the obsolescent coal-fired generators  are by far the biggest suppliers of green house gas emissions . Without  an effective and expanded RET , it is unlikely that large-scale renewable generators especially wind farms will be financed. The capital outlay for a wind farm is considerable  and planning required is long-term .

Yet wind generated electricity in our regulated "merit order" system can lower the spot price of electricity .

Further windfarms can create both construction and operation jobs in rural areas like South Guiippsland, where I live. Farmers who host turbines have a regular a relaible source of supplementary income. As a retired farmer of sheep and beef cattle, I know all about the fluctuations and uncertainty of markets   and know that income from hosting infrastructure such as telecommunications towers and wind turbines is very welcome to farming families.

Wilma Western,





Yours sincerely,
wilma western
Victoria

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

It looks more than ever like our federal government is held to ransom by big transnational energy companies. In mainstream media, especially Murdoch news, the coal, oil and gas industry sector get so much attention with claims that renewable energy is not viable, while simultaneously, they demand financial protection. Surely they can't have it both ways?

Coal, oil and gas companies receive 10 times more in subsidies than renewables. Foreign owned means they export their profits, not paying tax in Australia.

Even if it's only out of a sense of decency, better, risk mitigation against climate change, better still, providing employment now, and even better still, providing free, clean power to your grand children, why not keep a healthy investment climate by keeping the RET? The Fossils will only be shooting themselves in both feet, if you accede to their demands, provoking more people to go off-grid more quickly. They've had their day, time to wish them RIP,

Yours sincerely,
Bernie McComb
VIC
Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am an investor in renewable energy companies, with significant investment in Infigen Energy, and Hepburn Wind. When I invested, I thought it was a level playing field, and we had a target under the RET that was fair and reasonable. I support renewable energy with my finances, and my beliefs. We should be continuing to ensure we have a better mix of renewables entering our national grid. We cannot afford to continue to rely on Coal and Gas, as we have recently seen from the fires in Morwell and the expensive rises in natural gas.

Continued wind energy development through a strong RET means that my finaincial investments will continue to do well, and work this fine nation towards a goal of more renewables in the energy mix. I am set to lose alot of money if the REt is scrapped, or lowered, as are many other investors, and people that work in this sector.

The RET has allowed new projects to get up and running, that have vital to stimulating the regional economies. Look at the Wind Farm at Waubra for example, it has created many jobs during construction and ongoing, for that local community. The large scale upcoming solar projects need a RET to ensure they can compete with the cheap, and nasty, brown and black coal.

The last RET review gave all the information we require, that it should continue, to support large scale project lower their costs over time, and ensure the technologies can compete with coal.

In summary, the RET must remain unchanged, to support this rapidly growing sector, and ensure that wholesale energy prices remain low, and competitive. The REt has created thousands of jobs, and allowed renewables to compete fairly withg coal and gas.

Regards Ivan Carter,
Victoria

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am employed by Danish Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, we have a large ongoing presence in Australia constructing and maintaining wind farms. Vestas Australia now have 2,000 MW of wind energy installed in Australia and 200 employees.  Our industry relies on sustainable and strong direction of the government to ensure that industry investors have confidence to deliver Australia clean renewable energy for the future along with growth in jobs for this renewable sector. 

The Renewable Energy target has been proven to work and does not apply any cost to our government and is supported by industry and finance sectors.  The direct action policy has not been proven and will cost our government money. 

As part of role as Vestas I travel to many Asian cities with many companies seeking to develop wind farms in Australia, however they need a clear direction from Renewable Energy Target for them to invest.  I hope that RET Review Panel continues to support a strong and clear target for the LRET of 41 TWh, to reduce Australia emissions, ensure development of new wind farms and develop new jobs in Australia.

Yours sincerely,
James  Rudge
VIC

Dear RET Review Panel,

I have worked for Vestas Australian Wind Technology for the past seven and a half years as a travelling service technician.

In that time I have worked on many wind farm projects throughout Australia.

I have seen first hand the economic benefit these projects have had in regional areas and continue to have. Many of these areas have had little if any other projects or development in recent times.

On top of that isn't it nice to see renewable energy becoming more and more prevalent, regardless of your view on climate change.

Yours sincerely,
Kym Dodd
South Australia 5280, Australia

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

We are a retailer in the Clare Valley South Australia, we employ 16 local people and provide work for many local contractors.
Over the last few years we have seen several wind projects evolve in our area, and the spin off from these projects has seen our business flourish in an otherwise difficult economic climate.
We provide products to set up accommodation for workers coming into our area, both from the wind companies and from investors capitalizing on the influx.
Our town and surrounding towns have seen work opportunities increase and maintain from the wind farm developments.
Part of our business is a solar section, so we are also aware and passionate about S.A maintaining  its renewable and clean  energy focus.
We employ people and contractors in this industry as well, an industry that has been heavily impacted by Government impulse decisions, an industry that has grown, flourished and crashed.
Please consider a long term decision, encouraging renewable energy and enabling future generations to enjoy our clean environment.



Yours sincerely,
kym pudney
South Australia

Received 30 April 2014

To who it may concern,

I understand that a government review of the RET is underway and anyone can make a submission.

I am strongly in support of the RET and believe if anything it should be increased.

Firstly , as one of the RICHEST countries on the planet with one of the LOWEST public debt to GDP ratios of advanced economies , I believe  we have a moral obligation to play a greater role and lead by example. In fact I believe it would be shameful if  we as a such should actually go back wards and reduce or scrap the RET.

Secondly I note that all the companies that are tendering for big solar, wind and other renewable projects seem to be either European, or Chinese. That should be us- especially in the realm of solar as we have a so much sun and so much space. So it seems we have once again missed the boat and let a chance to be at the cutting edge  pass us by , just as we have in so many other industries. 
I believe the RET should be expanded or at least maintained and Australian companies should be encouraged to play a greater role.

Thirdly ,  I believe that increased use of renewables, particularly , solar and solar thermal will have a long term effect of suppressing  rises in electricity prices by supplying power at periods of peak demand. Most climate modelling predicts an increase in the number of heat waves and extremely hot days.  Wide spread adoption of Solar and solar thermal  will reduce and delay the need for new capital investment to cope with the  increase in frequency of extremely hot days and the associated power demand spikes which will occur. They will also spread the network of power supply over a greater geographical area thus adding a measure  of resilience into the system.


Thank you for considering my submission

Lloyd Judd

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

We are and engineering firm that delivers high level fast and efficient service in site maintenance, fabrication and in-shop repairs for Alinta Wind Farm, Geraldton WA.

With the continuation of Wind Energy development through a Strong Renewable Energy Target, this would obviously allow us as a local business to continue our commitment in the support in the role of maintenance, fabrication and repairs to the wind farm, as requested when required.

Not only as a business do we see the positive aspects of this but the economic strength and the long term effect on protecting our community and the environment for the development to continue is and should be considered greatly advantageous



Yours sincerely,
Nicole Mahony
Western Australia

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,
I am a qualified civil engineer and a qualified ornithologist. I have been around long enough to have witnessed a large decline in bird numbers and local bird species throughout Australia due to 2 main reasons. Decline in habitat and climate change. The increased frequency and intensity of bushfires is one major result that is already occurring due to this.
It is essential for the planets survival that man made  CO2 emissions are cut dramatically. Fossil fuel energy must be phased out over time . The RET is a marvellous tool in this process.


Yours sincerely,
Roger Richards
VIC

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I write to express my views and opinions regarding renewable energy. Currently employed in the Mobile Crane Industry, my opinion could be viewed as biased and of financial interest, my views consider Australias future.
Please consider the broader points I make.

Recently returning from Europe it was difficult not to notice the amount of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels that blend the lanscape in and around most regional areas. As Australians are we going to continue to be the last to understand and accept, what our energy needs will be in the future and what is the most effecient industry and least detremental process to the environment and the health of our children in sourcing this energy.

With our manufacturing decreasing rapidly in Australia why is it we do not invest and focus on what is important. Can you imagine a country as vast and beautiful as Australia without renewable energy, or without energy at all, and without employment.

Continued wind energy development through a strong RET will give us some hope of  the birth of an exciting industry in protecting our country from lack of innovation and give our children a future of advancement and joy.

Yours sincerely,
Shane Avery
VIC

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I am writing in support of wind energy and hoping that this will help change the government's mind with regards to cutting the RET.

I am a hospitality, specifically accommodation owner here in Portland VIC and since opening in April 2011 wind farms have been a huge contribution to our business. Lucky for us, the companies that choose to build wind farms around this region chose us to be their main accommodation provider for their executives and all employees during project work.

Needless to say wind farms has provided us with a thriving business as well as helped employ many of our local staff members. I can not see this region thrive without the help of RET to maintain the existence of our wind farms.



Yours sincerely,
Terry  Weissel
Victoria

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

In the western districts of Victoria the average farm wage is around 40-50k and the work is lucky if it lasts a year - the wind industry is the only industry that can provide jobs with the security of 20 year contracts and wages in the order of 80k per year for an entry level electrician - there is nothing else like that anywhere in the region.

And its the is cost form of carbon available - why risk that for coal which is dying.


Yours sincerely,
tony white
Victoria

Received 30 April 2014

Dear RET Review Panel,

I honestly can't believe that the Australian Government is even considering cutting the renewable energy target. It's ridiculous. I'm Irish, I come from an area of Ireland that has a number of wind farms that create electricity (and jobs) for the local community as well as reducing CO2 emissions and generally being an ALL ROUND GOOD IDEA. When I came to Australia 3 years ago, I began working for a turbine manufacturer by chance and I couldn't believe how small the wind industry is here. You have literally thousands of acres of flat windy land that is prime for harnessing wind and creating clean, renewable energy and you want to take about fifteen steps backwards and cut the RET? It's madness. MADNESS. You should be encouraging research and investment into the renewable sectors, not the opposite. For a first world country, your emissions are something you should be ashamed of.


Yours sincerely,
Trudi McDonlad
VIC

Monday, 14 April 2014

To whom it concerns,

RE: Renewable Energy Target review

I urge you to re-instate the RET for the sake of our future.

Kind regards,

Kristy

Submission in support of retaining RET
Having recently been to China on a business trip, it has highlighted to me the necessity for our country to do the best we can by the environment for future generations.
Clearly in China, they have a major problem with pollution, caused by coal powered power stations, concrete factories, air conditioning for such a large population and way too many vehicles on the roads. It is quite clear the Chinese are now trying to do something about their problem, by planting trees, constructing new high rise buildings with a focus on energy efficiency, even and odd days to drive cars in the major cities, wind farms, solar hot water systems on nearly every roof top. The list goes on.
In Australia we are very lucky not to experience such pollution, but we are part of the world economy and I believe we should not wait until the damage is done to act. China have no choice but to do something about their situation and even though we are not in their position, the prudent thing for Australia would be to at least pull it’s weight in the world.
It is for this reason I would like to at least retain the RET. With a target everyone has something to strive for, without a target we will not achieve any worthwhile energy goals. Just like the need for a road map, if you don’t know where you are going, then how are you going to get there?

To Whom It May Concern:
I have recently had photovoltaic units installed on our home and a rental property.  My family also utilises many water tanks. My parents have used solar hot water for the past 30 years.

To utilise renewable and sustainable energy is a no brainer on many fronts.

1. Coal, petroleum and natural gas have finite amounts and will run out and they all create carbon dioxide. This adds to global warming which is occurring.
2. Wind, tidal, solar and hydro energy will be here forever with much less carbon footprint created.
3. The further advancement of these energy sources can only make them more affordable and competitive with the currently cheaper fossil fuels. The R and D of photovoltaic units in China exhibited this over the last few years.

The clever country should be at the forefront of this research. It has been in the past.

In closing I strongly support RET

Yours Sincerely Gary Jenness
Submission to the RET Review


This submission may be made public.

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission. As an employee in the renewable energy industry my job directly depends on the outcome of the review.

The RET has significantly influenced the development of the renewable energy industry. It helps to grow the renewable energy sector by bridging the gap between ageing carbon-intensive fossil fuel generation and clean renewable energy generation. Renewables have become significantly more competitive as a result of policies such as the RET, and with the support of a strong RET they will become even more competitive. This will ensure Australia can continue to produce electricity at globally competitive prices, while reducing Australia’s pollution.

Other than that, it has also been modelled by different consulting companies that, in fact, consumers electricity bills will in fact rise with a repel of the RET instead of resulting in savings, as believed by our Prime Minister. An estimated $50 saving on the average household electricity bill in 2020 is calculated if the RET continues. I believe there are only benefits in all fronts (environmental, economic, employment, consumer satisfaction) to be gained by maintaining a reasonable RET. 

I believe a strong renewable sector is important to securing and improving Australia’s long-term economic prospects. A large-scale renewable energy target of 41,000 GWh should be a starting point.

Yours faithfully,
Niva Lima




Submission to RET Review
Comments on Modelling Assumptions
Greg & Judy Walker (Concerned Citizens)
17 April 2014
1.         We believe that the Review is imposing excessive and inappropriate restrictions on the modelling sources of data and projections that could prevent an independent assessment of the issues by a contracted economic modeller. There appears to be a heavy reliance on data and projections from existing industry sources. As such mainstream industry participants have expressed opposition to the RET, as it is currently constituted, there is a perceived conflict of interest. 
2.         The suggestion that sensitivity analysis may not be applied is unacceptable. Sensitivity analysis must be applied to test the assumptions adopted by any modelling exercise.
3.         The expectation that the current RET scheme might be evaluated independent of any comparative analysis of a proposed but as yet not defined, alternative Government scheme is unacceptable.
4.         Given the above limitations and above all the excessively short time line provided for this review, we believe it will not be possible for the Review to reach any definitive  conclusions on the current RET scheme.
As a person concerned about climate change and the impacts of burning fossil fuels, I implore the review to increase or at the very least maintain the renewable energy target of 20% by 2020.
We must preserve our beautiful environment for future generations, and if we don’t increase our use of renewable energy right now and cut back on fossil fuels, future generations will not be able to enjoy the same sort of lifestyle that we have been able to enjoy.
The Coalition promised at the two most recent elections to retain the Renewable Energy Target, I expect the Government to honour its climate policies.