HYDRO Tasmania has warned of ``dark clouds'' ahead after generating a record $238 million profit driven by an aggressive strategy to cash in on the carbon tax.
The state-owned business ramped up generation and exported more than six times the amount of energy than the year before in 2012-13 to capitalise on higher electricity prices due to the price on carbon.
Hydro chairman David Crean said the carbon tax contributed $70 million to its profits and another $70 million came from the unusually high exports.
Dr Crean expected the fat profits to continue for the next 12 months but future revenue would be hit by the Coalition's plan to scrap the carbon tax, reduced demand and uncertainty about the renewable energy target scheme.
The business's retail arm Momentum Energy, which operates interstate, was also profitable while Hydro's consulting arm Entura struggled, due to a decline in power engineering projects interstate.
``We're looking at a number of options to reduce costs in that area. Redundancies are an option but it's a last resort,'' Dr Crean said.
New chief executive Steve Davy indicated the business would seek Commonwealth funding to help maintain the state's renewable energy generating assets, which he said could not compete with large-scale brown coal plants.
The state government will reap a $116 million dividend as a result of the record profit.
Energy Minister Bryan Green said the huge boost to the state's coffers reinforced the need to keep the business in the public's hands.
Opposition energy spokesman Matthew Groom said it was a bittersweet result and demanded to know how much Tasmanians had paid as a result of the carbon tax.