With Australian electricity prices amongst the highest in the world, more and more households are going solar. The big power companies say the Renewable Energy Target is undermining their businesses and they want it wound back. The federal government agrees, so who is to blame for the high price of power?
Never has it been more expensive to turn on our appliances. In the last few years, our power bills have doubled, making Australia’s electricity prices some of the highest in the developed world.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott blames two things: the carbon tax and the renewable energy target. He says the government’s review of the target will look at its impact on bills, because ‘renewable energy targets are significantly driving up power prices right now’.
But Mr Abbott’s claim that the renewable energy target is expensive is not supported by the data. The Australian Energy Markets Commission says the renewable energy target adds four per cent to the average electricity bill. For an average household, that’s about a dollar a week.
‘For all of the attention that carbon price has got, from the increasing attention the renewable energy target’s got, the main reason that electricity has been getting dearer is the overinvestment in poles and wires, and the fundamental inefficiency in the way that the national electricity market’s working,’ says Richard Denniss, executive director of the Australia Institute.
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