Why is the government not looking at tax incentives for renewable energy?

Posted July 03, 2018 07:20:55 Australia’s climate change deniers have long argued that there is no point in pursuing tax incentives to develop new renewable energy technologies.

But that argument is falling flat in the face of the reality of the current state of the national economy, and it could have a devastating impact on the renewable energy sector.

Key points:Australia has a long history of tax incentives that have helped the renewable industry grow, but they have been watered down or scrapped since the electionThe government says it will not increase its renewable energy tax credit and will instead work to lower its carbon intensityThe National Renewable Energy Agency (NREA) says the government will not change its policy on the tax creditThe NREA says it is “committed to working with all states and territories to ensure that our policies and strategies are designed to encourage the growth of renewable energy”.

It says the Government has already announced it will reduce its renewable fuel tax credit to $15 a tonne, which means a $5 a tonnes tax credit will now be available to a total of $15,000 per $1,000 of carbon emissions from new wind turbines and solar panels.

“This means that the NREC will work with the states and Territories to provide more certainty to investors in renewable energy investment, including incentives for low and middle income households and businesses,” it said.

“Under this proposal, the Government will continue to invest in low-carbon, low-emissions technologies that help meet the needs of our most vulnerable Australians.”

It said the Government would also work with States and Territories on measures to ensure more incentives were available for new coal and gas power stations and new nuclear power stations.

“We will also ensure that incentives for the building of new coal power stations are more widely available to meet the future needs of Australians,” the agency said.

The tax credit has helped Australian renewables grow from just a handful of large-scale installations to more than 2,000.

But the NreA said the tax was being used in a “loose and unpredictable” manner.

“The current tax credit regime has been widely used to encourage renewable energy, with the benefit being to the sector, but it is now being stretched to the limit of what is economically feasible,” the NReA said.

It said that in 2020, more than 50 per cent of new power plants would come online, but only around 10 per cent would be solar and wind power.

The NreCA said it was not aware of any new projects that would take advantage of the $15 tax credit.

“It is not clear that any of these projects are economically feasible in Australia,” it added.

“Many projects that are being built today, and others which will be built in the near future, will need a lot of money to complete, and will therefore not be able to proceed as planned.”

Topics:renewable-energy,environment,energy-and-utilities,environmental-policy,climate-change,government-and/or-politics,environment-and ofgem,australiaFirst posted July 03, 20:04:55