Articles on cost of renewable energy

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The prime minister described Labor’s renewables pledge as “truly bizarre”. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

FactCheck: Would Labor’s renewable energy plan cost consumers $60 billion?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this week that Labor's pledge to source half the nation's power from renewable energy by 2030 will "mean a massive bill, perhaps $60 billion or more, that will have to be carried by the consumers of Australia." Is that right?
South Australia’s wind farms have coped without baseload power before - they can do it again. Fairv8/Wikimedia Commons

Coal closures give South Australia the chance to go 100% renewable

Coal closures announced this week in South Australia will cause employment pain, but could also help pave the way for the state to go 100% renewable - something that modelling suggests is eminently possible.
Renewables or oil? The former means betting each-way on energy storage. The latter means hoping to pull off a trifecta on carbon storage. Hans Engbers/

Only a mug punter would bet on carbon storage over renewables

The question of whether the future will be powered by coal and oil or by renewable energy is crucially important, both to the medium-term future of the Australian economy and to the long-term future of…
The government knows that solar panel subsidies are very popular with voters. zstock/Shutterstock

The pitfalls of using renewable energy as a political football

Federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane has finally revealed his opening gambit on negotiations on the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). He and environment minister Greg Hunt have pledged to…
Clouding the issue: the latest analysis of the impact of the Renewable Energy Target contradicts previous reports. Bo-deh/Wikimedia Commons

How does the Renewable Energy Target affect your power bills?

The review of the Renewable Energy Target is due to be handed to the federal government any day now, yet amazingly there are still conflicts over whether the policy makes electricity more or less expensive…
Even when the wind doesn’t blow, it is technically possible for Australia to get all its electricity needs from renewable sources. David Clarke/Flickr

Renewable energy is ready to supply all of Australia’s electricity

In a recent article on The Conversation, University of Melbourne Professor Emeritus Frank Larkins wrote that Australia’s targets to increase renewable energy will make electricity more expensive, thanks…
While Australians love Michael Leunig’s whimsical ducks, there’s another ‘duck’ pushing your power bills higher. Used with permission from Michael Leunig

Slash Australians’ power bills by beheading a duck at night

Rooftop solar power has slashed Australians’ demand for electricity during the day, but left evening peak power demand largely unchanged. That’s why, as strange as it may sound, we now need to behead a…
Australia has a possible path to 100% renewables – if governments and business can be persuaded to take it. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Renewable energy target can go all the way to 100% – if we let it

The political outlook for renewable energy is not great – and I’m not just talking about the view out of Joe Hockey’s car window. The Renewable Energy Target (RET), which aims to deliver 41 million megawatt-hours…
A mini power plant in a North Sydney basement. Trigeneration plants like these generate electricity, heating and cooling far more efficiently than with mains power. AAP/Short Communications, Girrit Fokkema

How to save business billions, without cutting renewable jobs

The debate about the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has largely focused on the issue of immediate costs to business. But if we’re thinking about Australia’s long-term economic interests…
One in five Queensland homes have gone solar, like this house in Brisbane’s Alexandra Hills. Melanie Cook/Flickr

Killing renewables softly with endless reviews

You have to feel sorry for people working in renewable energy. Their industry has been reviewed to within an inch of its short life, and the goalposts have been shifted so many times that they don’t know…
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has announced a review of Australia’s renewable energy target. AAP/Alan Porritt

Renewables inquiry leader vows ‘open mind’ on target’s future

The head of the Abbott government’s new renewable target review says he is going into the inquiry with “a very open mind”, despite his scepticism about humans’ contribution to global warming. Former Reserve…
Cooling towers at Yallourn, one of Victoria’s major brown coal power generators. Flickr/ccdoh1

Is $15 a year really too much to pay for renewable energy?

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target looks likely to be weakened or even axed, with the Prime Minister saying the scheme needs to be reviewed because it is causing “pretty significant price pressure”. But…

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