Articles on Electricity

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Electricity prices, renewable energy, climate change, uranium exports: what does the Coalition plan to do about our energy future? akeii/Flickr

Where to for energy policy under a Coalition government?

The Coalition has returned to government at a time of uncertainty and rapid change in almost every area of energy policy. With an energy policy released and a responsible minister named, what can we determine…
When it’s hot, the sun is shining. That’s good for solar power. Flickr/jimwhimpey

When the sun don’t shine, the power don’t flow … or does it?

Renewable energy seems to be on a roll. One million Australian homes have rooftop solar cells. There’s so much renewable energy it’s reducing wholesale electricity prices. But then, that old chestnut pops…
It’s up to us where Australian energy heads, but we need to understand the options. Maxine Sherrin

What will Australia’s energy future look like?

If things keep going as they are currently Australia’s energy future is pretty clear. By 2030 we will have seen continued energy price rises and we will still be reliant largely on fossil fuels for our…
Over a million Australians are now green electricity generators: how much difference will the shift to an ETS make? Heidi Blanton

From fixed price to ETS: the complications of reducing emissions

There is little doubt that Kevin Rudd’s plan to bring forward international linking and trading of emission permits is a smart political move. It removes a key option for Tony Abbott. Now Mr Abbott is…
Wind power now contributes 3.8% to the electricity market. Flickr/Bush Philosopher - Dave Clarke

Electricity prices fall: renewable energy deserves merit

Let’s be honest: the relationship between renewable energy and the electricity market is complex. So what does the latest report from Australian energy research firm RepuTex tell us? Well, for a start…
Blackouts remind us what life was like before cheap, readily available electricity - but it’s time to think about the true price of our power. Candle in the dark image from www.shutterstock.com/Ronen

Save now, pay later: the hidden costs of lower electricity bills

No lights, no power, no internet - and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us…
It is not currently possible to find the energy source sold by any of the licensed electricity retailers in Australia. Flickr/dereckGavey

Do you know how clean your electricity is?

In Europe and America, electricity retailers let their customers know whether their electricity is coming from renewable energy or fossil fuels. In Australia, your retailer has no such obligation. The…
Campaigns to switch off won’t work until they fit in with the ways we already behave. Andrew Huff

Hard habit to break: getting out of our energy wasting ways

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires behavioural change. But how do we get individuals into this habit or, for that matter, any habit that reduces energy consumption? Two academic disciplines concern…
New technology - among other things - means our estimates of electricity consumption are based on old ideas. Meg Lessard

Four years of falling electricity demand: can this continue?

In 2012, National Electricity Market electricity consumption continued its four-year decline. Everyone seems surprised that electricity demand continues to decline despite population and the economy growing…
Electricity prices have been rising rapidly during the past decade. Sir Bennikins/Flickr

The PM’s electricity plan: it’s a Band-Aid not a cure

A few days ago, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard foreshadowed a “plan to make sure that families pay $250 less per year for electricity” to be discussed at this Friday’s meeting of the Council of Australian…
History suggests privatisation of the electricity industry is not such a bright idea. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Why we should pull the plug on privatising electricity

Surging power prices are having savage consequences for household discretionary incomes. Some would blame the government’s carbon tax, but the real culprit is price gouging. Judging from the pronouncements…
Yes, Australia gets hot. But let’s investigate some other ways to cool it down. John Harvey

Air conditioning is peaking out, time to rethink cool comfort

As the recent Energy White Paper and Senate Committee report confirm, Australia’s electricity prices are going up. The Productivity Commission states that they have risen by 50% in real terms over the…
Australia could soon have millions of small electricity generators. absentmindedprof/Flickr

Energy White Paper underestimates solar

The 2012 Energy White Paper has much to commend it. In particular, the far greater acknowledgement of the need to shift to clean energy sources is a fundamental shift from previous White Papers. The emphasis…
Deregulation of the energy retail market will address the current politicisation of energy prices. Bes Z/Flickr

Deregulation is crucial for lowering Australia’s electricity costs

The issue of deregulation of the energy retail market is an important one and I think the much-anticipated Energy White Paper, released by Energy Minister Martin Ferguson yesterday, does well to emphasise…
The power we need twice a year is making us pay year-round. Andrew J Cosgriff

Explainer: What is peak power and how does it affect prices?

This is the year of electricity prices. Everyone, from the Prime Minister to your favourite barista, is talking about the recent rapid escalation in electricity prices. These increases are a complex story…
The National Electricity Market is in chronic failure mode. Sveter Sveter

Who will hold the balance of power on electricity?

The Senate Select Committee on Electricity Pricing tabled its report in Parliament on November 1. The inquiry found substantial evidence of failures in the rules and operation of the electricity market…

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