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.
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