Report: Origin’s ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Renewables

 
100% Renewable and Greenpeace say Origin Energy is engaged in a smear campaign against renewable energy in order to support what the groups say is the company’s ‘great gas gamble’.
  
In a report just released, the two groups state Origin’s campaign uses poor modelling and misinformation about the costs of renewables – including over-inflating the amount renewable energy programs add to electricity prices
  
“Origin’s Managing Director, Grant King, has repeatedly said the renewable energy target is a primary driver of increased energy costs,” says Lindsay Soutar, National Director of 100% Renewable. 
  
“But, that is inaccurate, with the main cause of price rises – at over 70% – due to over investment in poles and wires.” The report also points out renewables are actually reducing wholesale power prices and without that influence, power bills would be higher.
  
According to the report, Origin has sunk $24.7 billion into a gas project in Queensland and has made other investments in fossil fuel based projects; while winding back its own renewable energy forays. Additionally, with its retail arm generating 75% of its overall profits, the threat posed by the renewable energy revolution to its bottom line looms large.
   
“Origin’s short-sighted strategy of investing in dying technology and attempting to strangle new ones may be their plan now, but Origin needs to be careful as they risk consumers walking away as they learn about what they are up to,” says Ms. Soutar.
  
The groups also accuse Origin of “using its platform as a key media commentator to disparage the growth of renewables”.
  
Along with the launch of the report (PDF) is a rally organised to occur 9.30AM on Wednesday October 23, outside Origin Energy’s Annual General Meeting at City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney CBD.