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



PHOTOS: Your Mr Beef 2017 revealed

Entrants into the 2017 Mr Beef contest posed inside a photobooth.

HEATED online campaign between competitors came to a climax Saturday

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Company labelled "vindictive" after civil war victim bullied

Fisherman in hospital after hooking a shark off Evans Head

File photo of NSW Ambulance.

Fisherman in his seventies rushed to hospital after shark encounter.

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!