EnergyAustralia boss talks RET

EnergyAustralia has continued its call to see a real Renewable Energy Target (RET) with the aim of keeping electricity prices down for consumers, while fostering investment in renewable technologies.

Managing director of the electricity supplier Richard McIndoe explained that a modification to the RET could result in households saving up to $840 per year on their energy bills. He said that EnergyAustralia supports the 20 per cent target in principle, but the RET must have a design that balances the requirements of the industry and the need for consumers to see bills at sustainable levels.

"In the context of dramatically falling demand and rapidly rising energy prices, we're disappointed the government hasn't taken the opportunity to deliver a real 20 per cent RET.

"CCA [Climate Change Authority] modelling shows a real 20 per cent RET would deliver more renewable energy at 2030, but at a lower cost to customers and over a more sustainable timeframe."

Practicality is a major issue for Mr McIndoe, with the current RET system calling for 2,500 wind turbines to be built before the end of the decade.

He explained that unnecessary energy generation projects will only see additional costs land on bill payers' invoices, while on the other hand there is the the very real risk that not enough turbines will be built in time.

This means that the under the current RET system, customers will be financially disadvantaged, despite not having renewable energy at their disposal.

"A real 20 per cent RET would give renewable energy investors and financiers confidence that the scheme is achievable and sustainable," he said.

Current lower energy demand forecasts suggest that by 2030, the legislated 41,000 gigawatt hours target will lead to a subsidy of $53.3 billion and see roughly 27 per cent of our energy come from renewable sources.

Mr McIndoe cited the modelling into a "real" 20 per cent RET that was commissioned for EnergyAustralia, which found that based on forecasts into electricity demand, the subsidy's cost would be reduced to $28.1 billion - nearly halving the RET's total cost in 2020 for a typical household.

The energy company has a varied generation portfolio including the 111 megawatt Waterloo wind farm, with a 50 per cent share in the 123 megawatt Cathedral Rocks wind farm - both of which are in South Australia.

If you are looking to compare electricity, talk to a comparison and switching service to see if there is a better deal out there for you.

Posted by Charlie Moore