An inquiry into the partial privatisation of NSW’s electricity sector by the ousted Keneally Labor Government has recommended further sale or lease of generators, the possible sale of ‘poles and wires’ distribution networks and the sale of power station development sites.

In his 361-page report, former Federal Court judge Brian Tamberlin, QC, found that Labor government’s $5.3 billion transaction, under which Origin Energy and TRUenergy aquired the rights to trade the electricity generated by state-owned Eraring and Delta West, was “a second-best option”.

“The sale of the generation trading right was not expected to, and probably did not, achieve the consideration that the sale of the generators would have been expected to receive,” he said. However, he concluded that the sale, which was completed in March this year just prior to the election and included Country Energy, Integral Energy and Energy Australia, had delivered value for money.

AGL has announced a total profit of $431.1 million for the 2010-11 financial year, recording only a small increase over the previous year's $429.9 million in profit.

Households in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter are becoming more energy efficient, with an average home reducing its electricity use by almost two per cent over the past 12 months.

A new electronic map to assist resource companies to pinpoint the best areas for potential future solar power generation projects has been released by the Queensland Government.

The Queensland Government has unveiled a plan to help attract and accelerate investment and development of the renewable energy industry and projects in Queensland.

The Renewable Energy Industry Development Plan (REIDP) plan outlines 23 initiatives the Government will undertake over two years to facilitate economic development of Queensland’s renewable energy industry, generate green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate deployment of renewable energy projects.

The REIDP defines five key priorities to address market impediments and drive industry growth:

The Department of Climate change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) has released the Solar Cities Catalyist for Change background paper, outlining the current and future goals of the Solar Cities program.

Two separate reports published by the Federal Government have examined the potential for renewable energy development in regional Western Australia.

TRUenergy has announced it is seeking to invest in two new gas fired power stations in Queensland. The move has been welcomed by the Federal Government, describing the announcement as a welcome step towards meeting Australia’s energy needs through lower emissions generation.

Australia’s pipeline industry is will benefit from windfalls in excess of $20 billion as the sector consolidates on capital expenditure and increased investments in coal-seam gas and LNG projects.

Electricity supplier Energex has announced a new $15.3 million substation that will provide services to around 6,000 homes and businesses, including the new Gold Coast University Hospital.  

The Economic Regulation Authority’s final report on its Inquiry into the State Underground Power Program Cost Benefit Study has been released.

The Energy Users Association of Australia has published findings that show Australia needs to implement effective energy sector reforms to avoid the ‘negative economic consequences’ that could see electricity prices double by 2015.

South Australia is on course to continue as the national leader in the cost-effective transmission grid connection of renewable energy sources, with commercially profitable development opportunities identified, according to new analysis by independent market analysts ROAM Consulting.

Former Reserve Bank board member Professor Warwick McKibbin has called for the Federal Opposition to withdraw its pledge to scrap the Federal Government’s carbon tax, saying they should concentrate on repairing the scheme.

A consortium of climate change investment groups have called for long-term climate change and clean energy policies to allow for significant opportunity growth in clean and renewable energy technology, energy efficiency.

The South Australian Government has released the Renewable Energy Plan for South Australia, providing an agenda for future growth of the state’s renewable energy sector.

Queensland farmers and lessees of state land will have the opportunity to earn carbon credits from planting trees or managing regrowth on cleared land.

A major survey of Queensland homeowners is set to commence with the aim of identifying trends in household energy use patterns and energy-saving attitudes and awareness.

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has warned industry groups to avoid purchasing more international or future local carbon tax credits than they currently need, saying that his party will repeal the tax if he takes office next election.

The Federal Government has appointed Dr Michael Vertigan as the Chair of the Energy Security Council to advise on measures to ensure the ongoing security of the nation’s energy supply during the transition to clean energy dependency.

The Federal Government has introduced legislation that will create the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) before the Commonwealth Parliament.

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