So, everyone (including Dick Warburton) seems to agree now that the original claim of Tony Abbott (that the RET is killing everyone with its added cost to electricity) was wrong.
No no, the real problem is that it is reducing CO2 (and at the same time driving down wholesale prices), but at a higher cost than what something else would cost - with the only "something else" that the government will allow being "direct action", which has no specifics yet, and nearly everyone can't see achieving the goal at the low cost the government thinks.
The review therefore looks a bit of an embarrassment, but once again, I expect, we will see Greg Hunt selling his soul and making directly opposite claims to what he did a mere year ago. (Or I could be wrong, but looking at his track record so far, I doubt it.)
I do not recall ever having a government so full of political, unprincipled opportunism.
Anyway, Peter Martin's explanation of the review seems pretty spot on to me:
It's killing the coal-fired power generation industry. The panel doesn't put it that crudely. It refers instead to a "transfer of wealth among participants in the electricity market". If by 2020
retailers are required to buy 41,000 gigawatt hours from new pollution-free suppliers, the old polluting suppliers are going to sell 41,000 gigawatt hours less.
It would have hurt in any event, but a time when electricity use is sliding (thanks largely to the carbon tax) it means what was to have been 20 per cent is on track to become 28 per cent.
The abolition of the carbon tax gave coal-fired power generators a windfall. Kneecapping the Renewable Energy Target will give them a second helping.
Taking business away from coal-fired generators was never an unintended consequence of the Renewable Energy Target as the report seems to suggest, it was a design feature. It has helped cut pollution.