Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Energy users can't have it all ways on renewable energy
18 October 2011

Even with significant over-estimation of the cost of renewable energy, a new report by the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) still shows the cost has been modest, according to the Clean Energy Council. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the cost of solar for example was now half what it was in the report.

"The EUAA report contains many positives about renewable energy and shows that Australia's investment in renewable energy had been prudent," Mr Warren said. "The report finds that renewable energy has been affordable, adding 2 per cent to electricity bills in 2010 and costing households a few cents a week all up. The cost of dealing with climate change is going to be more than business as usual, but so far renewable energy has been a pretty good deal for a clean and safe future. "Renewable energy is necessary if we are going to avoid using technologies such as nuclear power in Australia. That's why it has been backed by all major parties for more than a decade and enjoys the support of nine out of every 10 Australians," he said.

Australia's policies for promoting renewable energy are similar to those of most of our major trading partners. The report acknowledges that Australia's policies for promoting renewable energy are " comparison with the approach adopted in other countries, not unusual". Mr Warren said accelerated investment in clean energy technologies was important right now because they had to overcome a head start of more than half a century of investment and development of their rivals and will be needed by energy markets at scale in the near future.

"Australia is in still in the early years of building a new clean energy industry and transforming the way we generate and use electricity. What is remarkable is how quickly the cost of clean energy is falling and new technologies are arriving to market, and we've only just started. "The reality of climate change solutions is that they will cost more, but so far renewable energy has been a great investment and is already beginning to deliver jobs and investment in regional Australia."