News

Energy review may lead to higher power bills

SPECULATION is rife the Federal Government will move to reduce the Renewable Energy Target which a report has shown will slug households with higher electricity prices and stunt the growth of the fledgling renewable energy industry.

A review of the target, which helps subsidise household solar panels and large-scale renewable projects, is expected to be handed to government this month.

The authors of the review have already been labelled by Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes as biased towards abolishing the target, including report chair Dick Warburton, a prominent climate change sceptic.

"The whole process has been prejudiced from the outset," Mr Grimes said.

What happens without renewable energy targets:

  • $10 billion profit to fossil fuel power producers, which includes $2 billion to EnergyAustralia, $1.5 billion to Origin, and $1 billion to AGL.

  • No decline in electricity prices, in fact wholesale prices would be forecast to go up by 15% by 2030.

  • Additional pollution costs of more than $14 billion by 2030, with 150 million tonnes of extra carbon pollution.

  • New South Wales standing to lose more than $2 billion in foregone investment in renewable energy projects.

While Finance Minister Matthias Cormann was reported yesterday saying the government was committed to the renewable energy target, it's understood it hopes to at least diminish it to a so-called "real 20%" energy mix, which takes into account hydro power and household solar as well as large-scale renewable projects.

Mr Grimes said moving to diminish the target would mean support for small-scale solar would be reduced by a third overnight, and households would compete for a "limited" support program for solar.

Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the Climate Institute, Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF-Australia shows a reduction in the renewable energy target would provide power companies with windfall profits while lumping households with higher pollution and higher electricity costs.

"The point is that the companies have been cloaking their argument in the idea that it would be good for their customers, and it's impossible to see how it's good for their customers," Olivia Kember from the Climate Institute said.

"The customers don't benefit from higher bills and they're also on the hook for all the extra carbon pollution and the loss of investment."

She said the government's instability on the target was already putting plans for large renewable projects in ice.

"You're saying to investors you can't rely on a stable investment environment when you're trying to build large-scale wind and solar projects."

Topics:  environment, federal government, renewable energy, renewable energy targets




Prestigious award for the best burial crypt in town

FE Marsh & Co has won an award for their work on St Carthage's Cathedral, which included the construction of a new 12-vault burial crypt beneath the floor.

Awards for fancy pools and underground crypts

Top 10 moments in Jenny Dowell's time as mayor

Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell has been busy during her eight years at the helm.

We take a look at the Top 10 moments for Jenny Dowell as mayor.

Latest deals and offers

Elm Street is far from a nightmare

Elm street's new album is making waves. Photo Contributed

Elm Street talks about drumming studios, power metal and the album.

Don't miss Tim Stokes' big live show

NEW RELEASE: Byron Bay artist Tim Stokes.

At the Byron Theatre on Saturday, August 13.

Max Pellicano brings The King back

ON STAGE: Max Pellicano during his tribute show Elvis To The Max.

The Elvis to the Max Show is coming to Ballina

What's on the small screen this week

Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor.

SEVEN gears up for the Rio Olympics while The Bachelor continues.

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

Dance to Tora's groovy chillwave

LOCALS: Byron Bay music band Tora arem, from left, Toby Tunis-Plant, Thorne Davis, Shaun Johnston, Jai Piccone and Jo Loewenthal.

The five-piece will offer a live show in Byron Bay later this month.

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started