August 30, 2018 Read More →

Forecast says renewables will prompt steep power price cuts in Australia

The Guardian:

While the Morrison government has identified lowering power prices as a key early priority, a new analysis says wholesale prices will almost halve over the next four years because of the technology many Coalition conservatives oppose – renewables.

The latest renewable energy index compiled by Green Energy Markets confirms analysis by the Energy Security Board that wholesale electricity prices are on the way down because of an addition of 7,200 megawatts of extra large-scale supply from renewable energy.

Tristan Edis from Green Energy Markets says the political debate in Canberra is lagging behind practical developments in the national electricity market. The national energy guarantee was scuppered in part because government conservatives were concerned the mechanism didn’t do enough to reduce power prices, and because of claims that renewables were inflating power bills.

“What I think is extraordinary given recent political events is that we’ve actually turned the corner on wholesale electricity prices and they’re now headed downward and will continue to decline substantially over the next few years,” Edis told Guardian Australia. “This doesn’t seem to have sunken in at all in our political debate.”

The new analysis charts movements in prices in the energy market. It says prices began to rise when large amounts of supply were withdrawn from the market in South Australia with the closure of the Northern power station, and because of the closure of the Hazelwood plant in Victoria. The analysis says price reductions have followed more renewable projects coming on stream. “Prices have since continued to decline in anticipation of increasing amounts of renewable energy supply reaching construction completion and contributing power to the grid.”

More: Renewables forecast to halve wholesale energy prices over four years

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