Electricity prices

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Thinking of going solar? Prices are approaching the cost of grid electricity, but only in some places – so far. joncallas/flickr

When will rooftop solar be cheaper than the grid? Here’s a map

When will residential solar be cheaper than the cost of power from the grid? This point of 'grid parity' is a moving target but moving closer in a number of places.
Energy efficiency has driven the recent fall in electricity demand. Michael Smith/Flickr

Rising electricity demand could be here to stay

In June this year, forecasts revealed residential and business demand has risen for the first time in five years. The trend could be here to stay, according to a report released today from the Australia Institute.
South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago is the third since the bank adopted a more transparent way of operating. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Clearing up the mystique of central banking

The South African Reserve Bank is a fine example of clear communication of the decision whether to hold, increase, or decrease interest rates. It also gives clear signals of future decisions.
Electricity privatisation has delivered big nest eggs for various state governments – but the NSW government’s $A13 billion privatisation price tag risks being undermined by an election pledge and the recent UBS controversy. Dmitry Melnikov from www.shutterstock.com

Electricity privatisation: has the NSW golden goose been plucked?

Electricity privatisations have been like golden geese, providing A$37 billion to Australian state governments since 1992. But the price for NSW's privatisation risks being undercut by two key events.
There are many misleading claims about what happens after electricity privatisation – including the impact on prices and on jobs. Paul Miller/AAP

Myths, not facts, muddy the electricity privatisation debate

Both sides of the electricity privatisation debate are guilty of cherry-picking so-called "facts" to suit their campaigns, rather than presenting the real story to voters.
Rising gas prices, driven by the development of Queensland’s exports, could end up driving domestic customers away. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

A crash in gas use is more likely than the forecast ‘shortage’

Gas developers have been ominously warning of impending gas shortages in New South Wales, with official forecasts from planning authorities pointing to steady or rising demand. Yet our analysis suggests…
Motorists in the United States and elsewhere have been treated to low prices. Whether they will bounce back is another question. EPA/CJ Gunther/AAP

Energy firms are waging a price war they might be unable to win

Late in 2014, we saw iron ore and coal prices fall. Now we are seeing oil prices tumble, dipping to less than US$50 a barrel, half the price of a year ago. In all cases, these price collapses reflect the…
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…

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