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New renewable energy will lower power prices: Government analysis

New wind, solar and bioenergy projects built between now and 2020 under the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cut the average household power bill by hundreds of dollars a year next decade, according to analysis released by the Federal Government.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the new analysis on the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) showed that household power bills will be hundreds of dollars lower each year from 2020 to 2030 compared to 2017 because of existing policies that encourage renewable energy.

“It is now clear that more renewable energy in the power system means lower power prices – for both mums and dads and big energy users with major electricity expenses,” Mr Thornton said.

“Renewable energy is now the lowest cost electricity generation it is possible to build. This analysis shows the significant reduction in power bills coming from new renewable energy.

"With the RET coming to a close, it is crucial that any future policy – including the proposed NEG – ensures sustained new investment in clean energy to bring on the much needed new supply to drive down power prices. The NEG policy should ultimately be assessed against this objective.”

Mr Thornton said as well as helping to reduce power prices, renewable energy is creating jobs and investment in regional areas of the country.

“We are in a record year for wind and solar in particular, with close to $9 billion of investment and almost 5000 jobs created in large-scale renewable energy alone. Rooftop solar and storage are also booming, with thousands more employed installing solar power systems in Australian homes and businesses," he said.

“As more large businesses switch on to the idea of creating and storing their own electricity, this will fundamentally change the way we think about our energy system.

“Another report released by the Chief Scientist this week suggested that only a modest amount of energy storage would be needed to accommodate close to 50 per cent renewable energy in the current power system.

“We have joined a call for state and federal governments to work towards further exploration of the NEG at this Friday’s meeting of the COAG Energy Council, to answer the many questions that remain about the policy. However, like many studies before it, this new analysis shows the policy task ahead must tap into the massive benefit renewable energy can provide to Australian homes, businesses and the economy.”

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