Tag Archives: solar power

  • Will Gas Prices Soon Be On Par With Electricity?

    With Queensland’s huge LNG export projects set to start production next year, there is real concern that gas prices will skyrocket.

    For some small businesses, this could mean a gas bill increase of $2,500 to $3,000. On the domestic front, high gas users in Melbourne can expect price rises of about $435 a year.

    Even with this news, independent think tank, the Grattan Institute, is opposing calls for some gas to be reserved for domestic use. Instead, the report has recommended that governments consider raising tax and royalty rates on gas producers in response to rising prices.

    Electricity and gas prices in Australian homes have already increased significantly over the past five years. But the completion of coal seam gas projects in Queensland is predicted to see gas prices more than double over the next few years, with local consumers having to pay the higher export price for gas.

    Gas export production sparks fiery debate over WA’s “protectionism policy”

     

    To avoid export price parity, Western Australia already puts aside 15% of gas reserves for domestic use.

    However, Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood, said this “protectionism policy” has deterred investment and increased gas prices in WA.

    Mr Wood’s analysis has been disputed by the head of WA's DomGas Alliance Matt Brown, which represents natural gas users such as Fortescue Metals and Alcoa.

    He stated that 2013 was a record year for gas exploration investment and LNG exports. He also argued that the policy has not deterred big projects including Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone projects off the north-west coast of WA.

    Scott McDine, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Unions and spokesman for the Reserve our Gas Coalition, also disputes the Grattan Institute's analysis.

    After commissioning a report which found that one-in-five manufacturers could shut down because of skyrocketing gas prices, the AWU has called for a national gas reservation policy in line with policies implemented by other major gas exporting nations such as the United States.

    Next few years difficult for gas users

     

    With the Grattan report predicting that the cost increase will price gas out of power generation and lead to more coal being used for electricity, Tony Brown concedes that the next few years will be a difficult time for businesses and households, but added that he does not support government intervention, such as subsidies.

    Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/gas-price-increases-no-cause-for-reservation-policy/5827098

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  • How Renewable Energy Targets Reform Will Affect Your Back Pocket

    The Australian solar and renewables industries have reacted with disappointment at the recent recommendations from the Warburton inquiry that the Renewable Energy Target scheme be substantially reformed.

    The inquiry seemingly ignored expert solar industry advice that axing the Renewable Energy Target would see demand for solar fall by 40-50%, with a similar reduction in jobs.

    With 1.3 million Australian households already experiencing the cost savings delivered by the RET, the outlook for those yet to take up solar is not optimistic. Which means millions of Australians who are yet to take up solar will find it harder to reduce their power bills.

    It’s even more surprising considering Government-commissioned modelling for the review found that consumers would be an average $56 better off from 2021 if the Target is kept in place.

    Recommendations for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

    The panel has recommended that the government take one of four courses of action with regard to the SRES, which provides up-front support for the installation of rooftop solar power and other renewable energy systems under 100kW. Currently, the SRES helps to make Solar more affordable.

     

    Under the latest recommendations, subsidies for small-scale solar systems are likely to fall.

     

    Recommendations for the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target

    The LRET comprises the main ‘target’ portion of the Renewable Energy Target: under the current RET, 41,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity are mandated to come from large-scale renewable plants by the year 2020. With the future of the LRET in question, fostering large-scale renewable energy project investment and development in Australia has made investors nervous.

    With Bloomberg New Energy Finance warning that changes to the RET could set back the Australian renewables industry by a decade, solar campaigners Solar Citizens have issued a media release urging its followers to email their MPs about the importance of maintaining the RET as it is.

    Source: http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/news/what-renewable-energy-target-review-panel-report-means-for-those-thinking-about-going-solar-290814?utm_source=SC+Installers&utm_campaign=87decd8f92-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_016c841e49-87decd8f92-84520009

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