Renewables and energy efficiency are hot news at the moment. Here are just three issues getting major media coverage.
The “Big Three” electricity retailers in Australia are charging two to three times more to sell electricity in four Australian states than the ACT’s regulated retailer, according to a report commissioned by community activist group GetUp!,.
(The Big Three are AGL Energy, Energy Australia and Origin Energy.)
The report shows where retail markets have been fully deregulated charges for retailing electricity to households have become a far bigger portion of the household electricity bill than the cost of actually producing the electricity those households consume.
This follows earlier research indicating Australia has the world’s most overpriced electricity before tax.
The Big Three serve the majority of the SA market – around 80 per cent.
Green for go
Final approval has been granted by the South Australian Government for DP Energy Australia to build the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park.
The farm will feature 59 wind turbines, each measuring about 130m from blade tip-to-blade tip and be accompanied by 400ha of solar panels.
The farm will provide energy equivalent to power 200,000 homes and save 470,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
Located near the former Northern Power Station on the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta, the project will create up to 600 jobs during main construction.
Work is expected to start in 2017 and last around two years
Ministers on the mat
Even before the current emergency meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) a couple of big political lobby groups put the pressure on.
The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) called on Australia’s energy ministers to lower power bills for business.
The EEC is a not-for-profit lobby group first formed in 2009 and its CEO, Luke Menzel, said power costs could be reduced by fixing Australia’s energy markets and driving sensible, cost-effective energy policies.
“The sad fact is that poor regulation, excessive spending on poles and wires and a lack of focus on energy efficiency have short-changed users around the country,” Mr Menzel said.
COAG is meeting after recent electricity price spikes started a national debate on how to reform Australia’s electricity system. Ministers are grappling with strategies to integrate wind and solar energy, as well as new technologies such as batteries, into the grid in a way that keeps energy markets stable and secure.
The chairman of the International Renewable Energy Alliance, MR Peter Rae is urging a “roll over to renewables”.
“It’s real, it’s happening, and it’s one area in which Australia can do a lot to get ahead of the rest of the world, rather than dragging behind,” the boss of this powerful international organisation said.
At ERS we care about reducing your home energy costs – and besides the money savings systems we sell, we’re also keen to see South Australian consumers get a fair deal from energy providers.