Wind auction result delivers renewable energy and economic benefits to the ACT

Three wind farm’s will supply the ACT with 200 megawatts of renewable energy generation capacity, with a reduction of 580,000 tonnes of emissions each year. This is a serious emissions reduction effort from the ACT Government with broader economic benefits.  This was … Continue reading Wind auction result delivers renewable energy and economic benefits to the ACT

Schneider study finds boosting renewables will cut energy costs

Published by Reneweconomy. View original article.

Analysts at French based energy components company Schneider Electric have concluded that extending or expanding Australia’s renewable energy target would lead to lower electricity prices, lower carbon emissions and increased competition.

Reducing, or removing the renewable energy target – as many incumbent generators, industry lobby groups, state governments and some of its own members are urging the Abbott conservative government to do – will have the opposite impact, pushing prices higher and creating a greater reliance on expensive gas-fired generation. Continue reading “Schneider study finds boosting renewables will cut energy costs”

Pollie Watch: Victoria’s new energy minister at the crossroads

Last week, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine injected new blood into his frontbench in preparation for the state election this November, promoting member for Morwell Russell Northe as Minister for Energy and Resources.

Victoria’s new Minister for Energy, Russell Northe

Northe steps into the role at a time of great uncertainty surrounding  the energy sector. The Abbott government’s stacked RET Review clouds the prospects for renewable energy in the country and compounds the impact of  Victoria’s anti-wind farm laws. The rooftop solar boom continues to disrupt the business model of the big fossil-fuel-based energy companies and the last scrap of coal power’s social licence went up in the recent fire at the Hazelwood coalmine.

The context of energy policy (and politics) is well known. Yet Victoria’s new energy minister is Russell Northe is somewhat of an unknown quantity. Yes 2 Renewables had a look over Northe’s record to get a better sense of the man. Here’s what we found. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Victoria’s new energy minister at the crossroads”

Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Published by The Conversation. View original article. Australia has a problem with its power system that goes to the core of many issues we’re facing at the moment — increasing coal and gas prices, changing electricity usage, and climate change. … Continue reading Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Rooftop solar is growing up

Published by Business Spectator. View the original article.

By Lucy Carter, energy fellow at Grattan Institute.

The rise of rooftop solar in Australia has been extraordinary.

rooftop-solar-array-537x359In 2009, there were fewer than 100,000 rooftop solar systems in Australia. Now, that number is more like 1,000,000. Rising electricity prices, falling equipment costs, higher levels of environmental awareness and large government subsidies have created the conditions for explosive growth.

Like a child moving into the more complicated world of adolescence, the rooftop solar industry is growing up. As a result, some of the rules governing its behaviour will also have to evolve as support is gradually removed and the industry interacts with the established power industry on a more even footing. This is not a bad thing – it marks the sector’s coming of age.

A good first step was the Victorian government’s decision to decrease the ‘feed-in tariff’ – the rate paid to households for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they export to the grid. On January 1 this year, the feed-in tariff was cut from 25 to 8 cents. This may seem like an excessive cut, but the 25 cent tariff was too high to be sustained with more and more systems being installed, and the impact has been cushioned by lower prices for photovoltaic cells. Critically too, this change only applies to new installations, so it does not undermine the support for customers who got in early to install solar panels when the upfront installation costs were higher. Continue reading “Rooftop solar is growing up”

Victorian Government casts shadows over the solar houses of tomorrow

The following response to the state government’s announcement that it will reduce the Victorian feed-in tariff comes from the Alternative Technology Association.

The Baillieu Government has announced today that it will reduce the Victorian feed-in tariff to a level that is lower than the value of solar electricity in the energy market, according to the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

The Victorian Government has announced its response to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s Inquiry into Feed-in Tariffs for Victoria.

The Government will reduce the feed-in tariff rate for all household generators to eight cents per kilowatt-hour (8c/kWh).

Damien Moyse, ATA’s Energy Policy Manager said “The evidence suggests that electricity generated by solar systems is worth more than the average price of electricity in the wholesale market.

“Solar generates at times of high demand and reduces wholesale electricity prices, which leads to lower bills for all other consumers.”

Whilst the ATA was pleased to see a number of the policy aims, including the continued use of a legislated minimum amount, the inclusion of other sustainable technologies and smoother processes for grid connection, the lower feed-in rate falls a long way short of the economic value of electricity from solar in the energy market. Continue reading “Victorian Government casts shadows over the solar houses of tomorrow”