Why it’s time to increase electricity prices
One of the main facts of the latest World Energy Outlook is that energy efficiency “is the largest contributor in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases , accounting for over half of total abatement by 2030.”
This means that it has more impact than renewable energies, nuclear power and clean coal combined. But energy is too cheap to be conserved and this even if people may drive less because of high oil prices and the economic recession.
However electricity consumption is not decreasing that much as it is still frightfully cheap : around 10 euro cents per kWh in France and slightly more in the European Union.
If governments and companies increased prices while providing serious incentives for energy efficient appliances and insulating housings electricity consumption – and greenhouse gases emissions – would decrease.
Insulating housings is also a critical issue as I have outlined four years ago in my Master’s Thesis.
Increasing electricity prices would also enable large investments in safe nuclear power and renewable energy sources like solar and wind. This would lead to further cuts in greenhouse gases emissions as less natural gas and coal are burned.
As TreeHugger notes, Australia will soon be increasing its electricity prices to finance its grid expansion.