Wind power delivers cheaper power bills
Wind energy is keeping a lid on skyrocketing power bills, new industry figures reveal.
The Clean Energy Australia Report 2016 released today shows wind energy is by far the cheapest form of new power generation, and getting cheaper.
Record low wind prices at Victoria’s Stockyard Hill wind farm ($55/MWh), Silverton in NSW ($65/MWh) and Hornsdale in SA ($73/MWh) are well below the cost of new combined cycle gas stations ($74 – 90/MWh), solar ($78 – 140/MWh) and ultra-supercritical coal ($134-293/MWh).
Despite this, just three new wind farms totalling 139 megawatts started up in 2016 – the lowest since 2004. Of these, just one wind farm of 19.8 megawatts was backed by the federal Renewable Energy Target. The other two were built as part of the ACT’s push to be 100% renewable by 2020.
Australian Wind Alliance national coordinator Andrew Bray said wind energy is crucial to lowering power prices.
“We’re seeing record low prices for wind power in Australia and this should be putting downward pressure on prices for customers,” Mr Bray said.
“The more wind, the better for all yet the tiny number of new wind farms built in 2016 shows that politics is getting in the way of lower prices from wind.”
The Clean Energy Council’s report shows the largest power bill increases over the last decade were in the coal-dominated states of Victoria, NSW and Queensland, with rises of 136%, 118% and 109% respectively. The state with the highest level of renewables, South Australia, has seen bills rise by 87%.
“States that encourage growth in renewable energy are doing what’s best for their residents. People should pay less for power,” Mr Bray said.
All up, there are 79 operating wind farms in operation across the country, which provide 5% of Australia’s total electricity generation. The figure puts Australia 17th in the world for wind power generation. There are currently eight new wind farms being built, seven are scheduled to start operating by the end of the year.
“This reboot of the industry shows the importance of politicians getting behind the wind industry and providing stable clean energy policy – it’s good for local communities and everyone’s hip pocket.”
The Australian Wind Alliance is a community-based advocacy group of farmers, wind workers, small businesses and residents. We share a common vision of harnessing Australia’s world-class wind resources to power our homes, cities and industries with clean renewable energy. Go to www.windalliance.org.au for details.