Monday, 14 March 2011

Renewable energy not powering electricity bill hikes
7 March 2011

Sharp rises in household power bills are being driven by rising network costs and retailer margins not renewable energy according to new analysis released today. In a new report by independent energy market analysts ROAM Consulting, renewable energy schemes were found to only contribute between 4 and 7% to power bills, at the same time delivering Australia's main response to the economic threat of climate change.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said rolling out clean energy around Australia was the start of the transformation required to clean up Australia's electricity supply without imposing major costs on households. "Electricity bills are going up, but renewable energy is not to blame", Mr Warren said.

"While we are finalising the design of a carbon price, the national 20% renewable energy target remains the single largest greenhouse gas abatement program in Australian history. "Over the next decade it will cut Australia's greenhouse emissions by around 380 million tonnes of greenhouse gases as the contribution of renewable energy increases year on year", he said. Network costs, retailer margins and wholesale electricity prices account for more than 90% of power bills, with necessary investment in network upgrades being the biggest single driver of power price hikes.

The report for the Clean Energy Council by ROAM Consulting, "Impact of renewable energy policies on retail electricity prices", showed the combined cost of large and small scale renewable energy schemes and state based feed in tariffs from 2011 -  2020 would make up 4.7% of electricity bills. According to the report: "Even in the most aggressive scenarios the combined renewable schemes are likely to contribute less than 10% of retail electricity tariffs".

To access the full report, click here.