Australian retail electricity prices: Can we avoid repeating the rising trend of the past?

Australian retail electricity prices: Can we avoid repeating the rising trend of the past? After a stable or declining real trend that persisted for more than half a century, Australian retail electricity prices have experienced a substantial increase, in real terms, since 2007. This has mainly been driven by increases in the cost of electricity distribution and to a lesser degree in the cost of electricity generation. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is a bipartisan political goal in Australia, will likely deliver further increases in generation costs due to the expected higher cost of low emission technology. Participating in global negotiations on emission reduction targets and designing efficient policy mechanisms have been a major focus of governments over the last several decades. In contrast, managing distribution system costs has received less attention. While there were a number of factors which drove historical increases in distribution costs, management of peak demand growth could help contain or reduce the extent to which consumers, particularly households, experience further increases in distribution costs. The paper demonstrates how different combinations of carbon price and peak demand scenarios could impact future residential and industrial retail electricity prices to 2050 and discusses some behavioural and technological solutions to manage peak demand and potential barriers to their deployment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Energy Policy Elsevier

Australian retail electricity prices: Can we avoid repeating the rising trend of the past?

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0301-4215
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.enpol.2015.07.022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

After a stable or declining real trend that persisted for more than half a century, Australian retail electricity prices have experienced a substantial increase, in real terms, since 2007. This has mainly been driven by increases in the cost of electricity distribution and to a lesser degree in the cost of electricity generation. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is a bipartisan political goal in Australia, will likely deliver further increases in generation costs due to the expected higher cost of low emission technology. Participating in global negotiations on emission reduction targets and designing efficient policy mechanisms have been a major focus of governments over the last several decades. In contrast, managing distribution system costs has received less attention. While there were a number of factors which drove historical increases in distribution costs, management of peak demand growth could help contain or reduce the extent to which consumers, particularly households, experience further increases in distribution costs. The paper demonstrates how different combinations of carbon price and peak demand scenarios could impact future residential and industrial retail electricity prices to 2050 and discusses some behavioural and technological solutions to manage peak demand and potential barriers to their deployment.

Journal

Energy PolicyElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

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