Victoria introduces new laws to stop energy retailers discriminating against solar households, as both Victoria and Queensland launch inquiries into the “fair price” of solar, and how to encourage battery storage.
Tony Abbott’s climate plan will provide no incentive to the biggest polluters to reduce emissions. Instead, they will be eligible for government handouts and may even be allowed to invest in what Abbott once described as “dodgy” international projects.
NSW pricing regulator slashes feed in tariffs for solar households in an apparent bid to encourage consumers to install battery storage. The cut was justified by the fall in wholesale prices – caused ironically by the proliferation of rooftop solar.
Redflow chairman Simon Hackett says the market for battery storage is “running hot” and predicts they will be as common place as broadband within a decade. His goal is to deliver software to make flow batteries easy to use. And if utilities try to fight this with higher tariffs, it will simply drive more installation.
Infigen Energy says investment drought in Australian renewables could last another 18 months as big utilities extend their buyer’s strike, and developers struggle to put together capital to build wind and solar farms without long term contracts.
West Australia energy minister says the future is in solar, noting that it is cheap, democratic, and was likely to displace the state’s ageing coal generators. And this man used to head the IPA!
Governments “come and go” but so does investment. The effective withdrawal of a $5 billion energy giant from Australia’s renewable energy industry highlights why it will remain in the doldrums as long as the Abbott government holds its fossil fuel prejudice.
As US President Barack Obama embarks on a 10-day “climate tour” of America, and unveils a range of initiatives to encourage consumers to embrace solar and storage, Abbott’s apparent determination to dig Australia’s economy into a fossil fuel lock-down looks increasingly isolated.
If you hear a lot of noise about climate policies and climate action over the next few months in the lead up to the Paris climate conference, it is because there is a lot at stake. According to Citigroup analysts: $US100 trillion of potential stranded assets in the fossil fuel industry.
Critics of renewables – such as Alan Jones, the Murdoch media and the Abbott government – focus on capital costs. But a new report from Citigroup says this is an error, and the total cost of renewables is already competing with fossil fuels and getting cheaper. And could save the world more than $US72 trillion.
Rules that could have reduced network bills delayed another 5 years, after fierce resistance from coal generators. In a blow to battery storage and solar PV, the decision could mean higher bills and more grid defections, as networks and retailers fight over consumers.