IEA executive talks energy needs at conference

Electricity prices the world over are set to rise by 15 per cent in the coming decade.

That's according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) executive director Maria van der Hoeven, who said today (November 20) that there are a number of factors behind these increases.

She said to the Australian Institute of Energy national conference: "Electricity prices are expected to increase everywhere in real terms over the coming decade by 15 per cent on average.

"That's principally due to rising fuel prices and also due to renewable (energy) subsidies. Where renewable subsidies are passed onto consumers through electricity prices, the additional tariff component can be substantial."

Japan and the EU experience the highest prices in the world, she said, while the US and China have much lower rates as a result of higher fuel, capital and renewable subsidy costs.

Ms Van der Hoeven said that in three years' time, natural gas would be overtaken by renewable resources as the world's second largest source of power and the government will have to examine how much they are spending on subsidies.

Last year saw renewable technology receive nearly $US90 billion ($AUS86 billion) in subsidies, which is 24 per cent more than the previous year, she said.