As always, big money is attempting to have its say in renewable energy, and such is happening in Australia, where coal and gas power producers are blaming solar power for their financial woes.
Renewable energy in Australia is a big deal, especially solar power, arguably the easiest renewable energy source to take advantage of on the continent. Subsidies for consumers, such as those who install rooftop photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters, makes it even easier for consumers to take advantage of clean and cheap energy. Fossil fuel power, on the other hand, is becoming less-profitable every year.
Stanwell Corporation, for example, said one of its 4,000 MW coal-fired power plants failed to make a profit last year, thanks, ostensibly, to greater adoption of solar power. Additionally, Stanwell says it will close its biggest gas-powered generators, citing the same profitability problems. Interestingly, fossil fuel power plants raise their energy prices to regain profitability, driving their consumers to look for cheaper options. Consumers, in turn, look to the Australian SRES (Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme) to put solar power installations on their roofs and lands.
The Australian Energy Network Association (ENA) is calling on the federal government to stop the SRES, ENA CEO John Bradley stating, “To reduce pressure on electricity prices, we should stop subsidizing technologies that don’t need it. [Solar power] technology is now well established and is forecast to undergo significant growth without further subsidies.” I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. Large-scale power producers are also turning to renewable energy in Australia, noting that renewable energy is actually cheaper. Fossil fuel power is already eliminated as an environmental option. Let’s face it, fossil fuel power is no longer a financial option, either.
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