$100B for electricity infrastructure by 2020

Speaking to chief executives at a meeting in Brisbane organised by the Energy Users Association of Australia, Ferguson said the biggest cause of higher electricity prices was the high capital cost of increased investment in electricity networks to guarantee supply reliability.“Australia now needs to invest at least $100 billion in electricity infrastructure over the next decade just to meet growing demand and replace ageing infrastructure,” he said.Ferguson added the federal government did not want the same situation that occurred with shortages of water to happen with electricity supply. “No one wants brown-outs or other restrictions on supply, such as those we have faced with water for many years,” he said.“While the Rudd government is concerned about the impact of electricity price increases on families and businesses, in many cases they are now unavoidable if we are to guarantee supply reliability.”That’s why we need more investment in electricity supply infrastructure. At the same time, we need to invest in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies to meet our climate change objectives.”On top of that, we need to consider how we integrate new sources of renewable generation into the existing energy market.”Meanwhile, a National Energy Customer Framework to improve protections for vulnerable customers is to be introduced this year through the South Australian Parliament. The legislation will require retailers to have in place hardship policies for vulnerable customers that are approved by the Australian Energy Regulator, including provisions for payment plans.Story courtesy EnvironmentalManagementNews.net

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