Mixed Greens: Qld blames green schemes for power price pain

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State’s energy minister says federal renewables schemes costing families $350/year. Plus Japan tallies nuclear-free cost; Indonesia mulls coal export cut.

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Despite much evidence to the contrary, Queensland’s energy minister Mark McArdle released a statement today suggesting electricity bills in Queensland would be at least 18 per cent cheaper without the federal government’s green energy schemes. In what looks like another attack on renewables from the climate-denying government of can-do Campbell Newman, McArdle cites preliminary analysis from the Queensland Competition Authority, who were commissioned by Minister McArdle to assess the “true impact” of Labor’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) and associated “green schemes”, which require 20 per cent of Queensland’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.

“Labor’s carbon tax will add about $194 per year to an average electricity bill, but what they won’t admit is that their RET and associated schemes also come at enormous cost to Queenslanders,” McArdle said in the media statement, adding that most “renewable energy sources” were “three to 10 times more expensive than traditional ones” – a cost he says is being directly added to electricity bills. McArdle said that the QCA analysis established that the current RET level of 5 per cent added around $102 per year to the average Queensland household’s electricty bill, and that on that basis, increasing it to 20 per cent would equal $408 per year. “On top of this, an average cost of $54 per year from the solar feed-in-tariff is also being added,” he said.

McArdle said QCA’s analysis showed “green schemes” were not only costing the average Queensland family around $350 per year, but the extra cost of electricity paid by business was passed through, adding to the overall cost of living. The minister said he had also asked the QCA to investigate the cost of building infrastructure to support green schemes. “This will allow me to …better understand the impact on consumers who are vulnerable to electricity price hikes,” McArdle said. “These hidden costs should be fully transparent and explained,” he said. Hidden energy infrastructure costs? Sounds strangely familiar.

In other news…

Japan needs to invest at least ¥50 trillion in renewable energy by 2030 if it decides to completely phase out nuclear power, the government estimated Tuesday. Kyodo News reports it also predicted that households would see their energy bills nearly double if Japan achieved the phase-out goal in 2030. The average monthly household energy bill could rise to as high as ¥32,243 in 2030, compared with ¥16,900 in 2010.
Indonesia‘s East Kalimantan governor Awang Faroek Ishak is considering limiting annual coal output from the region to 150 million metric tonnes to preserve the resource and spur the development of alternative energy. Bloomberg reports that the province – which is the top coal producer in a country that is the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal – is expected to produce 220 million tonnes of power-station coal this year.
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1 Comment
  1. Paul 7 years ago

    While conservative forces in Australian State Gov wind-back most renewable investments in favour of the status quo, China is joining Japan in targeting renewables as their next area for infrastructure stimulus funding with the later announcing $372 billion worth of energy conservation projects part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tonnes of standard coal. (approx double Australia’s annual thermal coal exports)

    How much does the QLD economy rely on Coal exports to China and Japan again?

    http://reut.rs/Q4dF2A

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