THURSDAY 03 MAY, 2012 |
Origin: Australia To Overshoot Renewable Energy Target
Recently we published an article on concerns Australia's Renewable Energy Target
may not be met. Origin Energy is reportedly saying quite the opposite.
Results of a joint study by Standard & Poor's Ratings and clean
energy/carbon analytics firm RepuTex found just 14
to 17 percent of electricity
would be sourced from renewables by 2020,
depending on carbon pricing - well short of Australia's 20%.
However, various news items appearing today state Origin Energy believes
falling electricity demand and uptake of rooftop solar
and solar hot-water systems
by Australian households seeking to rein in energy costs means Australia may
overshoot the target. Origin apparently believes if those generation sources are
factored in, 26 per cent of Australia's energy will come from renewable sources by 2020.
If that is the case, it would seem a point for rejoicing - but perhaps as part
of what some might see as an undeclared
war on solar PV
by utilities around the world, Origin seems to be indicating
this could be a Very Bad Thing as it would cause upward pressure on electricity
As such, according to an article in the Sydney
, Origin has called for a target based on 20 per cent of ''actual'' 2020 demand
or enough new large-scale renewables projects to generate 27TWh of electricity.
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh has said the Renewable Energy
Target accounts for just a few percent of electricity bills and, citing New
South Wales and Victoria as examples, would reduce further in coming years as support for small-scale renewables was
reduced. Mr. Marsh also points out actual electricity demand in 2020 cannot be
Furthermore, contrary to Origin Energy's electricity price rise bogeyman, what
is known as solar's Merit
appears to be decreasing the cost of wholesale electricity
Additionally, national solar solutions provider Energy
' Nick Brass points out:
"If Australia overshoots the Renewable Energy Target then there will be an oversupply of renewable energy certificates in the market and their value will
further plummet; which in effect should make the cost of electricity from utilities even cheaper for the consumer."
However, Mr. Brass points out what should occur, likely won't.
"What happens is some energy retailers pass through the cost of the certificates
they carry on their books at the full $40 value based on the clearing house price guarantee legislation. This cost is then passed onto the consumer. If the reports we're seeing are accurate, Origin
Energy appears to be contradicting itself."
While Origin has substantial renewable energy generation assets, fossil fuel
based electricity generation still rules its roost. Giles Parkinson's article:
Generators Are Terrified Of Solar
" might best sum up the reason behind
the disquiet utilities are increasingly experiencing with the rise of solar:
"..solar PV is not just licking the cream off the profits of the
fossil fuel generators - as happens in Australia with a more modest rollout of
PV - it is in fact eating their entire cake."
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