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Energy Minister Chris Bowen dumps Labor’s promise to reduce power bills by $275

Labor has already ditched its election pledge to cut energy bills by $275 a year by 2025 — after just six weeks in power.

Energy Secretary Chris Bowen admitted that the modeling that led to that figure is already outdated and cannot be relied upon.

He blamed recently disclosed delays to the Snowy 2.0 hydroelectric dam in NSW and power price increases of up to 18.3 percent on the east coast.

In all eastern states, the government-set benchmark electricity price, known as the standard market supply, is set to rise on July 1.

Asked if he still stands behind Labour’s $275 figure, which was modeled by privately held company RepuTex and unveiled in December, Mr Bowen said: “Of course the numbers will shift.

“Since the modeling was done, we’ve seen Snowy 2.0 come late, we’ve seen the standard offering in the market go up.”

The modeling also predicted that bills would fall by $378 by 2030 as the government invested in more renewable energy that is cheaper than power produced by burning fossil fuels.

During the election campaign, Mr. Albanian said his climate change policy would save families $275 a year.

Speaking to the National Press Club just three days before being elected, the Prime Minister said: “Making Australia a renewable energy superpower is the fastest way to reduce pollution and the most effective way.” to combat climate change.

Energy Secretary Chris Bowen (pictured) admitted that the modeling that produced that figure is already outdated and cannot be relied upon

Energy Secretary Chris Bowen (pictured) admitted that the modeling that produced that figure is already outdated and cannot be relied upon

“But it’s also the best way to cut energy bills for families and businesses, saving families $275 a year.”

The coalition rejected the figure, insisting that power prices would rise by $560 a year under Labor’s policies.

Despite Labor dropping its $275 pledge in power after just six weeks, Mr Bowen said Labor will be able to cut prices with renewables as Labor seeks to cut Australia’s emissions by 43 percent by 2030. compared to the 2005 level.

“I am very confident that the policies we modeled will be followed and that is downward pressure on prices from more renewables in the system,” he said.

The minister said the government’s plan to produce 82 percent of Australia’s electricity from renewable sources was “even more important” given the global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Coal and gas prices have skyrocketed as Western countries attempt to rid themselves of abundant Russian resources.

In all eastern states, the standard electricity price set by the government, known as the standard market supply, will rise on July 1.

In all eastern states, the standard electricity price set by the government, known as the standard market supply, will rise on July 1.

“It is more true than ever that renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy,” Bowen said.

“So it’s more important than ever to get them into the system and that’s exactly what our policies will do and that’s exactly what they will achieve.

“And they will put downward pressure on power prices.”

Bowen said Snowy 2.0 – due to open in 2024 – was delayed by about 18 months due to technical difficulties, supply chain disruptions and absences from Covid-19.

Within weeks of being sworn in as minister, Mr Bowen faced a perfect storm of coal-fired power plant shutdowns, a cold spell and rising gas prices.

The federal energy regulator suspended the energy market for a week over complaints that the market-based system had been breached.

International pressure, such as the war in Ukraine, sent shockwaves to global energy markets, but Labor blamed the former coalition government for Australia’s energy shortage.

The new government said a decade of underinvestment in renewable energy has led to the recent grid outages.

But as the short-term crisis has eased, the energy minister faces the challenge of selling the Labor government’s long-term energy plan while keeping electricity and prices low.

Mr Bowen has proposed a capacity mechanism that would act as a safety net during Australia’s transition to renewables.

Under the mechanism, to be implemented from 2025, the government would pay electricity suppliers to have standby power available to meet demand.

The body set up to design the mechanism says it should include all current power generators, including coal and gas.

The proposal has been criticized by industry groups for failing to address existing issues in the energy market and potentially delaying the transition to a lower emissions system.

Of Australia's renewable energy sources, solar makes up about 37 percent and wind 36 percent.  Pictured: A wind farm in Tasmania

Of Australia’s renewable energy sources, solar makes up about 37 percent and wind 36 percent. Pictured: A wind farm in Tasmania

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