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    GBCA calls on Tony Abbott to recommit to RET

    Green Building Council of Australia

    The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has urged the Abbott Government to renew its commitment to the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

    The bi-partisan RET policy mandates that 20 per cent of Australia's electricity will be generated from renewable sources by 2020.

    Green Building Council of Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon explains that the RET has encouraged and supported diverse energy solutions; abolishing it therefore could diminish forward investment in renewable energy technologies.

    According to Mr Mellon, the Renewable Energy Target has stimulated innovation, set a direction for industry and provided the impetus to invest in new technologies.

    Independent modelling commissioned by the Climate Institute has found that abolishing the RET could reduce investment in renewable energy by almost $11 billion. Observing how industry requires standards, benchmarks and targets to evolve, he said the building code sets the standards, Green Star sets the best practice benchmarks, and policies such as the RET set the targets. In the absence of such targets, industry will lack the incentive to do better.

    Thanks to the RET policy encouraging investment in technologies that are increasingly being integrated in buildings, Australia now has more than 700 energy-efficient, Green Star-rated buildings, which combine a range of energy solutions and technologies. These buildings, on average, consume just a third of the energy used by traditional, non-green buildings.

    Several schools combine geothermal energy with hydro power from the grid, offices and commercial buildings bank on wind turbines and co-generation plants, and apartments and communities feature solar panels and tap into precinct-wide tri-generation systems.

    Mr Mellon concludes that incentivising good behaviour and good design is not sufficient. Good technology is also needed, which has so far been driven by RET through innovation and motivation.

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