Solar energy to blame for high electricity prices: Van Breda

QUEENSLAND'S state-owned power generator Stanwell is blaming schemes that benefit rooftop solar users for helping make Australia one of the world's most expensive for energy.

In a submission made to the Federal Government's looming energy white paper, Stanwell said the national renewal energy target, carbon tax and "uncapped solar feed-in benefits" were all driving up power prices.

The benefits cover payments made to households with rooftop solar when extra power is fed into the grid.

In mid-2013, Queensland energy minister Mark McArdle said 92,000 households in the state "don't pay any power bills at all" thanks to rooftop solar arrangements.

Stanwell chief Richard Van Breda said on Thursday these "ideological" policies had to go because they distorted the real cost of electricity.

A day earlier, Stanwell said it would mothball its Swanbank E gas power station outside of Ipswich because selling gas was more profitable than selling electricity from gas..

It is to be replaced by 30-year-old coal-powered Tarong power station in the South Burnett after turning it off in late 2012.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the former government's renewable energy target would be reviewed and the carbon tax was still to be dismantled.

Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler said Labor's policies were changing the mix of power generation in Australia so alternative and cleaner energies could thrive.

Topics:  electricity prices solar power

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