Tuesday, 3 May 2011

IPART blame game hits wrong target

Clean Energy Council
15 April 2011

Australia's peak body for renewable energy says the previous NSW government's solar scheme should bear the blame for the electricity price increases attributed to renewable energy by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said it was not accurate to blame the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target when network costs were still the main driver of price increases, and the cost of renewables had been driven mainly by the design of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme.

"Two thirds of the projected price increases are due to investment in poles and wires," Mr Warren said. "The Renewable Energy Target is an important scheme that will help to drive the transition to cleaner energy in Australia. In contrast, the poorly designed NSW scheme simply overheated the market. It has been the biggest contributor to the smaller renewable component price rise announced yesterday.

"The over-ambitious gross feed-in tariff in NSW delivered another boom-bust for an emerging solar PV industry that is starting to make a real difference to energy use and carbon emissions in Australia. "That type of short term policy doesn't help the renewable industry and it now has to be paid for by NSW households. But this is not the fault of the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target and IPART knows this. "Network upgrades continue to be the main driver of electricity price increases in Australia," he said.