Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Green energy handouts backfire

Summaries - Australian Financial Review
Tuesday 27/10/2009 Page: 1

The Federal Government's $1600 solar hot water subsidy has reduced prices for renewable energy credits. Victoria-based Keppel Prince Engineering's head today will warn staff of a possible 150 job cuts. Pacific Hydro managing director Rob Grant said, 'Unless there's a short-term fix by government, there won't be any investment [in large-scale renewable energy] for the next two or three years'.

Energy retailers like Origin Energy and AGL will be required under a renewable energy federal scheme to buy sufficient renewable energy certificates. AGL chief economist Paul Simshauser said AGL believes the subsidy level for solar hot water could potentially result in a boom-to-bust situation. Miles George, the chief executive for wind energy investor Infigen Energy, said that AGL recently announced its Hallett Windfarm, north of Adelaide, which would deliver electricity at $111 per MWh and long term traded prices were more important than the short term spot market.

Clean Energy Council represents renewable energy companies as well as rooftop solar hot water and photovoltaic sectors. The Minerals Council of Australia said yesterday that Australia's ETS would be among the world's most stringent but a poll released yesterday by Essential Media revealed that 30% of respondents considered the government's scheme biased towards business.