Powerful pricing plan outlined
The CSIRO has backed emissions trading as the way to cut power bills and hit carbon targets.
The CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia (ENA) have completed a two-year analysis of Australia’s energy future.
They found that a system wherein high-carbon emitting power generators buy ‘credits’ from lower-emitting generators would allow Australia to approach its carbon reduction targets in the least expensive manner.
The groups are not excited about technology-focused emission-reduction frameworks, like renewable energy targets (RETs), which can be far more expensive and politically contentious.
“We think the emission intensity scheme is the clearest area where there is potential for consensus among the various policy-makers in state and federal governments beyond the election cycle,” ENA chief executive John Bradley told reporters.
“We focus on the outcome — which is the emission reduction — and we allow the market to produce the solutions.”
Mr Bradley said market-driven solutions could bring significant savings for consumers.
“Customers could save over $200 per year through technology-neutral approaches like an emission intensity scheme compared to current business-as-usual policies,” he said.
Mr Bradley said storage would be the key.
“What we want to do is provide them the incentives and rewards that take advantage of the solar and storage they install so that they don't have to build traditional generation or traditional poles and wires,” he said.
“It's a much smarter energy future which is kind of working more like an internet which is trading information — or trading energy in this case — for the better outcomes for customers.”
The CSIRO said the Government could save over $100 billion by encouraging rooftop solar and battery storage.
Paul Graham, the chief economist of CSIRO Energy, said the Federal Government had to clearly outline the relationship between climate and energy policy.
“We need a stable and enduring carbon policy in Australia. It's very hard to get the investment we need if we don't have a clear and enduring policy so that everybody knows what the rules are for building new low emission technology,” Mr Graham said.