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Falling demand and prices are leaving no incentive to invest in Australia’s electricity sector.  Indigo Skies Photography /Flickr

Why Australia’s entire power sector should support the RET

There’s been much talk about how uncertainty over the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is affecting the renewable energy industry. Investment in renewable energy is at its lowest level since…
Should you be paying for big energy users? Bill image from www.shutterstock.com

RET changes may leave households to foot the bill

The federal government has now achieved passage of its Direct Action plan through the Senate. Some wheeling and dealing with the cross-benches was required of course – but while the government may oppose…
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…
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…
From Australia to the world. Rising LNG exports threaten domestic industry and climate action. Flickr/kenhodge13

Australia needs gas reservation to protect industries and climate

What is the future of Australia’s gas reserves? While it might be good news for the gas industry, increasing international demand could see gas prices in Australia rise, driving up the cost of electricity…
Workers assemble air conditioners at a factory in China earlier this year. EPA/SHEPHERD ZHOU CHINA OUT

Australia’s rising air con use makes us hot and bothered

With temperatures starting to climb, it’s time to think about how we will stay cool this summer. The stakes are getting higher when it comes to hot weather. As the Australian Medical Association has warned…
Restructuring the market is harder than it looks. David Cheskin/PA

Ofgem faces select committee, but market reform still lags

With high energy prices all anyone can talk about this winter, Ofgem’s interim chief Andrew Wright appeared before MPs today to defend the regulator’s performance. Predictably, he was met with some hostile…
Would you buy a used energy market from these people? PA

Three visions for reforming the electricity market

The impending third reading of the Energy Bill in the UK’s House of Lords marks the final stage of a long and intensive review process for legislation designed to overhaul the UK’s energy market. The question…
Community activists in Boulder, Colorado rally outside Xcel Energy’s Valmont coal plant. Flickr: 350.org

What Australia could learn from a US energy uprising

Around the world, people concerned about global warming and wary of higher energy costs are turning away from big power distributors in favour of local and “distributed” energy technologies and services…
How much will getting rid of the carbon price save households? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Axing the carbon tax: saving households, costing climate

With the government introducing legislation to repeal the carbon price today, people might be wondering how much they will benefit from reduced cost of living. The government has continued to claim that…
Who’ll switch on to time-of-use tariffs now we have the choice? 55Laney69/Flickr

Choosing the power price you pay: voluntary time-of-use tariffs

In Victoria, households now have the option to take up time of use tariffs - if they do, they’ll pay more for electricity during peak times, and less off-peak. Taking up the tariffs will be voluntary and…
Emergency management would be severely stretched under future conditions: we need a serious conversation now. Alexander Kesselaar

The conversation we need to have about carbon

Recent conversations about carbon pricing are still framed within gentle themes of continuing growth and well-being, where no one has to pay more for anything without being compensated. The words that…
Australia’s energy regulations need a clean up. Flickr/Looking Glass

Energy reform key to productivity, paves way for carbon action

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ducked the question of changes to carbon pricing in his National Press Club address yesterday. But he put energy market reform at the top of his “New National Competitiveness…
How selfish! Are solar panels really pushing up the price of power for everyone? Elliot Brown

More solar, less power demand, higher prices: does it add up?

If I install solar panels and a car battery to run my air conditioner, should I pay higher electricity network fees? The electricity industry and Queensland’s Energy Minister would say yes, but is that…
We know we have to cut back on electricity use on really hot days, but how do we do it without disadvantaging low-income households? Karl-Ludwig G. Poggemann

Beating the peak without punishing the poor

Australia’s electricity prices are rising and not everyone is finding it easy to keep up. Fingers have been pointed at peak demand; the times, like very hot summer afternoons, when we use large amounts…
The Australian Energy Market Operator’s latest report lays out what it will cost to switch on to renewable power.

Zero emissions power is possible, and we know what it will cost

To avoid 2 degrees of climate change, global carbon emissions will need to be reduced by at least 50% by 2050. For developed countries such as Australia with higher carbon emissions this will mean cuts…

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