The Renewable Energy Target (RET) mandates that 33,000 GWh of electricity – 24 per cent – be generated from renewable sources by 2020. To do this, wholesale energy users, mostly retailers, are required to purchase a certain amount of wholesale energy from renewable sources.
Because renewables are typically costlier and less efficient than non-renewables, the RET causes energy prices to rise but productivity, growth, wages and employment to fall. This undermines Australia’s international competitiveness. These costs are incurred with no noticeable benefit to the environment.