The Australia Institute has released (25.9.17) a major report on the federal government's energy policy settings, finding that Australia is at risk of falling well short of meeting its international climate agreement commitments without a marked increase in investment in renewable energy sources.
'The first major report from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program evaluates the energy policies required to meet Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set by the Abbott government and pledged at the international climate summit in Paris.
'The Climate & Energy Program was launched following the transfer of the Climate Institute’s intellectual property to The Australia Institute.
'The analysis of the government-commissioned modelling finds that, to meet its Paris commitment, Australia faces a choice of: adopting a least-cost path, involving a transition to between 66-75% renewable energy by 2030; or further delaying the transformation of the electricity sector, which will increase the cost to the economy as a whole and push a greater proportion of the emission reduction task onto other sectors, such as agriculture, transport and manufacturing.
'The report, by Director of Research at The Australia Institute, Rod Campbell, shows the most efficient path to meeting Australia’s international commitment would see the electricity sector reducing emissions by between 40%-55% below 2005 levels in 2030.
'“This analysis of the economic modelling demonstrates meeting these targets for the electricity sector with a policy like the clean energy target is likely to require 66-75% of electricity to be supplied by renewables,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.'
Clean Energy Target: There's nothing in the ACCC report that suggests it should be axed
The ABC's Stephen Long reports (16.10.17) on the ACCC's investigation into electricity pricing and the country's energy sector, suggesting that anyone saying the ACCC report supports ditching the Clean Energy Target is just engaging in political spin.
'If the Government is looking for an excuse to ditch the Clean Energy Target, it will struggle to find one in the preliminary report of the competition watchdog's electricity pricing inquiry.
'And if you hear anyone saying the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition (ACCC) report provides backing for such a move, don't buy it - it's spin.
'The ACCC has, in fact, given the lie to the widespread misconception that incentives for renewable energy are the main reason Australians are paying far more for electricity than they used to.
'Retail prices have risen by almost two-thirds over the course of a decade, but the report confirms that subsidies for renewables have made a very minor contribution to that huge rise.
'Network costs — the infrastructure for retail electricity supply — account for almost half the price rises (48 per cent).
'Wholesale electricity costs are responsible for 22 per cent of these price increases. Environmental schemes add just 7 per cent.'