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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Fight is on for rugby league legend Niko after stroke

Niko with his wife Carolyn and children Aiseah (16), Noah (8), Jonah (4) and baby Laisa.

“When the kids' names are mentioned he seems to respond"

Lismore barber reveals edge with old-school milk bar

Nostalgic owner Morgan O'Hara has installed an espresso and milk bar at his barbeshop in time for the Lantern Parade.

Short back and sides and a malt milkshake, please

Byron band PLTS flying high as they land Splendour gig

LOCALS: Byron Bay band PLTS are Kit Bray, Byron Carney, Harry Deacon and Eli Ayo

PLTS has been selected by Triple J Unearthed

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

$1 million cannabis seizure

Police discuss a huge cannabis seizure and the arrest of seven men.

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

OPINION: Should we give up the great Aussie dream?

Generic housing Rural View.

First home buyers are struggling big time

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.