The fossil fuel industry must have hoped to keep its dirty laundry private a little longer: the Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed that a switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 is technically viable. What the report neglected to mention is that the investment bill of $220 to $250 billion is pretty close to the $240 billion needed by 2030 if we rely on gas and carbon storage instead.

Other hidden costs of fossil fuels are also coming to light. A new report released by the Centre for Policy Development estimates electricity price spikes could add $250 to the average household bill if fossil fuels continue to dominate. Prices for gas-fired electricity are now linked to volatile international fuel prices. East coast gas prices have already doubled and could treble by 2015. Water scarcity also reduces supply from water-cooled coal plants. This pushed short-term wholesale electricity prices up to five times their normal levels in the last drought.