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Renewables are bringing power prices down

Renewable energy

Wholesale power prices are forecast to almost halve in the next four years thanks to the addition of new supply from renewable energy.


Data released today confirms investment in renewable energy is the key to bringing down electricity prices.


The latest Renewable Energy Index compiled by Green Energy Markets reveals a direct correlation between increased investment in large scale renewable projects, a surge in residential rooftop solar installations, and decreasing energy prices.


Data published by Green Energy Markets shows energy prices started rising across the National Electricity Market beginning in mid-2016 due to an insufficient amount of renewable supply coming online ahead of the closure of Hazelwood, due in-turn to the former Abbott Government cutting the Renewable Energy Target.


After the closure of Hazelwood was publicly confirmed and power prices spiked upwards, the data shows a boom in large-scale wind and solar farm construction, as well as rooftop solar installations.


By mid-2017 it became evident the scale of new renewable energy supply about to come online was massive, and its costs were vastly lower than previously thought. Since that point wholesale power prices have been steadily falling.


According to economic analysis prepared for the Energy Security Board, the extra supply from renewable energy will result in wholesale power prices almost halving between 2018 and 2022.

Despite this, chaos in Canberra, a new Prime Minister beholden to the Coalition’s coal faction, and the abandonment of any climate target for the power sector, risk stifling renewable investment once again.


GetUp Campaigns Director Miriam Lyons said the data should be a wake-up call to Scott Morrison and new Energy Minister Angus Taylor that if they want to bring energy prices down, scrapping any climate or renewable energy target would be a disaster for family power bills and the health of the planet.


“What this data shows is that if Scott Morrison is serious about bringing down power prices he should be walking around Parliament with a solar panel not a lump of coal.”


“The evidence is clear, slashing renewables drives power prices up, when there is investment in renewables, prices start to fall.”

“In July alone rooftop solar installation created enough electricity to save Australian consumers $241 million in bill savings and power 39,565 homes, all forms of renewable energy generated enough energy to power 11.1 million homes.”  


“To prove he genuinely cares about household power bills, Energy Minister Angus Taylor should immediately rule out scrapping the SRES scheme, which helps households take back control of their bills from the big power companies and encourages rooftop solar.”


Renewable Energy Index Snapshot:

  • The NEM electricity price spike has now reversed and prices are in decline
  • The rise in power prices was preceded by a drought in renewable energy investment. With the surge in supply now coming on stream power prices are declining.
  • Households and businesses have flocked to solar as a solution to spiking power prices.
  • In July renewables made up 23.3% of the electricity generated in Australia’s main grids
  • Enough renewable energy over July to power 11.1 million homes
  • Renewable energy avoided 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 pollution in July
  • Renewable energy avoided 11.2 million cars’ worth of CO2 pollution in July
  • 6,244 megawatts of large-scale renewables currently under construction
  • Enough work to employ 15,666 people    
  • 18,384 small-scale solar systems installed in July    
  • Rooftop solar employed 6,413 people in July    
  • Enough rooftop solar installed in July to power 39,565 homes    
  • Rooftop solar installed in July will deliver $241 million in bill savings

Media release: GETUP

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