The renewable energy industry has labelled a controversial Abbott government review an “unprecedented scam” and a “stitch-up” after learning that it was conducting electricity industry modelling on the assumption there would be no risk or cost to investments in coal-fired power stations in the next few decades.
The review of the renewable energy target – headed by veteran businessman and self-professed climate sceptic Dick Warburton – and its modellers from ACIL Allen consulting held a workshop with industry participants on Wednesday at which they revealed the modelling would assume investors in fossil fuel generation would not need to factor in any risk due to climate policies for decades – neither a carbon price, nor a requirement to invest in emission-reducing technologies, nor any cost from any other government policy or regulation.
Many of the 50 participants said this assumption was entirely unrealistic.
John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council, said it made the whole review a farce.
“This is an absolute stitch-up. They are predetermining the outcome of this modelling by the assumptions they are making … it is an unprecedented scam in policy-making and it needs to be called for what it is,” Grimes told Guardian Australia.
Coalition’s renewable energy review an ‘unprecedented scam’, industry says