Free energy possible at crude prices
New research by the Australian Energy Market Operator has shown converting to entirely renewable power could end up costing the same as continuing to use fossil fuels.
The federal government study has suggested that switching to a completely renewable nationwide power supply would be possible by 2030, at a cost between $219 billion and $252 billion. A new ‘community summary’ released in addendum says that cost is no more than would be spent expanding the conventional energy sectors.
“We're exposed to rising carbon prices, we're exposed to rising gas prices,” says Jenny Riesz, a research associate at the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets at the University of NSW, “what this [summary] is saying that for around the same price, you can build 100 per cent renewable energy and completely protect yourselves from all of those risks.”
“It's kind of incredible that we haven't modelled [a 100 per cent goal] before now given that the costs are basically the same,” Dr Riesz said.
Greens leader Chrstine Milne believes it shows renewable efforts should be ramped up, saying “it puts a wrecking ball through claims by the Coalition and Labor that we can't go a lot harder and set a 90 per cent target by 2030.”
Opposition Climate Spokesman Greg Hunt says his party: “supports renewable energy and the renewable energy target, however we are mindful that it needs to be done in a balanced way so we do not inflict massive price rises on families and put Australian manufacturing out of business.”