Bruce Billson and Josh Frydenberg and others in this government are on the way to creating a brand new environment for small business and particularly for those who want to innovate. This will have a big impact on confidence and on our ability to increase productivity and our standard of living.
Their key activities revolves around competition policy, cialis contract law and deregulation which as they are at the moment inhibit innovation and productivity. Ian MacFarlane has also started to change the way we train people in industry and Senator Birmingham has picked up that cudgel and is continuing with the changes.
For these activities to have the best result there must be parallel activities from other portfolios that motivate the innovators to apply their ideas with confidence. One of the key areas is the Renewable Energy Target.
We call on the Government to keep and settle the current RET: for jobs and growth at a time the Australian economy needs it
We call on the Government to start a process together with industry and small business to establish a future ambitious renewable energy target for 2030
The uncertainty around the RET has led to business uncertainty, which comes with a high cost to the renewable energy industry by inhibiting the innovators and investors in that sector.
At a time when world-wide investment in renewable energy is booming, investment in large scale renewable energy in Australia has fallen by 88 per cent in 2014. The massive investment slump is a direct result of the uncertainty around the RET.
The renewable energy industry employs 21,000 people in Australia. These jobs are spread across cities and rural areas, and will continue to grow if the industry is given the green light to expand. The uncertainty around the RET is putting these jobs at risk. That number can and should increase.
The RET has attracted $20 billion in new investment to Australia since it was implemented in 2001. If the RET is left unchanged it will attract a further $14.5 billion out to 2020. But as the drop in investment last year shows, this could all be lost without certainty going forward.
While certainty about the 2020 target is needed now, there is also the need to begin to formulate a process for setting a renewable energy target for 2030. This should be done in consultation with industry and small business as well as stakeholders in the renewable energy industry.
The RET has also been shown to put downward pressure on electricity prices which is good news for small businesses in industries such as hairdressing, retail, manufacturing, storage and the fitness industry, and many others.
For this trend to continue a secure renewable energy target for 2030 is needed. A strong 2030 target will also give long term certainty for industry to get on with the job of transforming Australia’s electricity generation and transmission sector which is desperately needed.
In the end the renewable energy industry is underpinned by innovators in small business, with more than 90 per cent of the 21,000 who work in the renewable energy industry employed by small businesses. These jobs are mainly located in outer metropolitan and rural areas.