The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) confirmed on Friday what the clean energy industry has been saying for years – that the Renewable Energy Target is not a major factor in rising power prices.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the latest price determination from the QCA showed that in 2014-2015 the cost of the Renewable Energy Target to Queensland households will fall, while all other parts of the average electricity bill will rise.

“In particular, power bills are set to jump due to the increasing cost of gas and the costs of the poles and wires in the electricity network,” Mr Marsh said.

“The Renewable Energy Target makes up less than 3 per cent of the average power bill, supports thousands of jobs and is an insurance policy against the future cost of gas power, which some analysts predict may be the defining energy challenge of this decade.”

The Renewable Energy Target is designed to ensure at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable energy such as wind, hydro, solar and bioenergy like sugar cane waste by 2020 – at the lowest cost. The policy is currently under review, leading to uncertainty which has frozen investment in the sector until it has been completed.

Mr Marsh said the cost to consumers was a major part of the current review process, and four studies this year had shown that power prices would actually increase slightly if the Renewable Energy Target was removed.

“Removing the Renewable Energy Target would mean that we need to source more power from increasingly expensive gas, driving up costs for energy users such as mums and dads and manufacturers. We have already seen the start of this in Queensland with the latest price determination from the QCA.

“The Australian Industry Group, which represents some 60,000 businesses including many manufacturers, has also recognised that there would be no benefit to consumers if the Renewable Energy Target was reduced.”

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.