The sustainable energy sector in Western Australia has criticised a report that warns against higher power prices due to renewable energy incentives.
The report by the Economic Regulation Authority says incentives for wind and solar generation are overly generous and an economically inefficient way to cut greenhouse gases.
The Authority predicts that unless there is pressure on retailers to produce green electricity at a lower cost, then consumers will pay the price.
It backs a price on carbon as a better mechanism for moving away from fossil fuels.
Ray Wills of the Sustainable Energy Association welcomes the endorsement of a carbon price but says the report is out of touch with current market pricing.
“They’re going back to 2007/2009 data – so in short the ERA has not actually reflected on the current market price of renewable energy and the very small impact that the current price is having,” he said.
But the Authority’s Lyndon Rowe has defended the report, saying it’s based on figures from last year.
“If households would like to look at their current Synergy bill or the brochure that comes with the current Synergy bill – Synergy themselves point out that somewhere between 15 to 20 per cent of the increase in costs for Synergy was driven by the need to buy renewable energy,” he said.