Business backs deal on RET cuts

A LATE-night compromise on the nation's renewable energy target had business celebrating the return of certainty to energy policy and environmentalists worrying the policy has been watered down too far.

The deal between the Coalition, Labor and the crossbenchers will cut the RET to 33,000 gigawatt hours, down from 41,000, after government MPs argued for deeper cuts over 12 months ago.

But conditions in the deal include the burning of wood waste, a "windfarm commissioner" to oversee wind power and exemptions for major energy users.

Australian Conservation Foundation's Victoria McKenzie-McHarg said winners in the deal were coal-fired power stations and companies wanting to "generate electricity by burning native forest".

However, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Kate Carnell (pictured) said the deal was a "sensible reform" and an "enormous relief to energy users" that include manufacturers and the aluminium industry that will be exempt.

- APN Newsdesk

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