Grant King’s new attack on renewables – and the carbon price – was expected by most in the industry. It underlines the fear that Australia’s utilities are not ready to evolve, unless there is strong political leadership. Sadly, there is not much chance of that.
Tag: "renewable energy target"
EnergyAustralia reports sharp fall in earnings as demand slumps due to impact of renewables, rooftop solar and energy efficiency. It says any float will be put on hold until it can address these issues. But help may be at hand, with the star recruit for the Coalition suggesting that gas be included in a diluted Renewable Energy Target.
The goal of having 100 per cent renewable energy is no longer a mere aspiration, it could be inevitable. The plunging technology costs of wind and solar have unleashed economic forces that could be unstoppable.
The battle over renewables gets dirty; coal miners hang grimly onto concept of baseload power; Macquarie’s disappearing balance sheet; why vested interests can’t win; and why our appliances are getting smart and cheap to operate.
As well as being ill-timed, the suggestion that the RET be scrapped and replaced with a reverse auction system has three key weaknesses.
Yet more delays in Australian green energy. A study on planning to transition to 100 per cent renewables that was supposed to have been completed by mid year has not even been started. Meanwhile, a 200MW solar PV plant will be built in California in less than half the time, and at two-thirds the cost of the Flagships winner. But households get it, and are installing solar at record rates.
Growing evidence of slumping energy demand means the stakes are extremely high in the upcoming review of the Renewable Energy Target, as well as the proposed cash-for-clunkers buyout of brown coal generators. The future of conventional and renewable generation in Australia could well depend on it.
… and the next big baseload project will likely be PNG hydro. Origin Energy CEO Grant King also discusses the RET, the case for smart meters and the changing nature of the energy retail industry, the flickering prospects of geothermal, and why he said no to Solar Flagships.
2012 will be a critical year for cleantech in Australia. Costs for many technologies are falling rapidly, but critical decisions will be made about renewable energy targets and support mechanisms. Here, the heads of Pacific Hydro, GE, Infigen Energy, Better Place, Origin, First Solar, Carnegie Wave, the Grattan Insitute, the CEC and the SEAA share their predictions.
The debate around the structure and the purpose of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will be one of the most critical policy debates of 2012. We summarise some of the more important submissions. Meanwhile, concern about the ability to meet the RET may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.