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Renewable energy 'more affordable' than report suggests

21st Oct 2011

The Clean Energy Council believes that the cost of renewable energy is one of the more affordable options when it comes to addressing climate change.

Commenting on a new report by the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA), Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said the cost of solar power was now half what it was in the report.

Mr Warren believes that the report indicates Australia’s investment in renewable energy has been "prudent".

"The report finds that renewable energy has been affordable, adding two per cent to electricity bills in 2010 and costing households a few cents a week all up," Mr Warren said.

"The cost of dealing with climate change is going to be more than business as usual, but so far renewable energy has been a pretty good deal for a clean and safe future."

According to Mr Warren, nine out of every ten Australians support the implementation of renewable energy and the approach to the issue adopted by the Australian government is not unusual when compared to other countries.

Recent findings by Sustainable Energy Australia (SEA) support this, stating that an increasing number of Australians are now focused on changing their patterns of behaviour when it comes to energy consumption.

With the federal government’s move towards clean energy, more Australian households than ever are seeking affordable alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy.

While our interest in renewable energy is increasing, Mr Warren believes that Australia is "still in the early years" of development in clean energy technologies and that investment needed to be accelerated to overcome "a head start of more than half a century" that other energy markets have.

"What is remarkable is how quickly the cost of clean energy is falling and new technologies are arriving to market, and we’ve only just started," Mr Warren stated.

At present, rooftop solar power systems are one of the most accessible options for Australian households, and according to SEA's October industry survey, now is the best time to invest in solar power.

Residents in certain states may find themselves eligible to participate in a government incentive that takes the excess energy a household generates and feeds it back into the local electricity grid.

The impeding carbon tax is also another reason for Australians to consider making the investment in renewable energy now.

Posted by Mike Peacock - Solar Correspondent 

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