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Published on : Oct 22, 2014

The Abbot government’s initial deal for a renewable energy plan has been immediately rejected by the clean energy industry and Labor. The negotiations are about a bipartisan agreement regarding the future of the Australian renewable energy target.

The Labor party rejected the first plan as being a job-killer before it was even announced. The plan, they said, would protect solar installers on a household level, but would also turn down two-thirds of the large-scale clean energy investments.

The original target required 41,000 gigawatt hours of energy to be generated from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. The Australian government then appointed businessman and well-known global warming skeptic Dick Warburton to carry out a review of the issue. The main recommendation from the review was to slash the overall target to 16,000 gigawatt hours.

The industry gave strong resistance to the target cut and voiced its criticism over the review. The federal cabinet then asked Greg Hunt, the environment minister and Ian Macfarlane, the industry minister, to attain a bipartisan agreement about the program’s future. It would allow continued investment without the looming threat of a policy change.

The talks are set to begin on Wednesday afternoon. Macfarlane had recently admitted to hashing out a common sense plan that would form a basis for the negotiation with Hunt.

He also added that a target that would represent the actual 20 percent of the current energy market. The new target would be around 26,000 gigawatt hours. There would be no change to the subsidies for rooftop solar panels. There would also be a full exemption from the scheme for industries that are energy intensive, such as cement, aluminum, copper, and zinc.