Electricity prices in Australia rise out of control – Rising with that?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Aussie PM Anthony Albanese tested to destroy fallacy that renewable energy can reduce electricity bills.

Electricity prices rise to record highs – and the nightmare will continue

‘The Australians didn’t see a fraction of what was to come.’

Alex Chapman / Energy / Updated 3 days ago

Millions of Australian households are on alert electric bill will continue to increase after The country’s energy market operator reports record high costs.

In a report on Friday, the Australian Energy Markets Regulatory Authority (AEMO) said wholesale electricity costs had skyrocketed in the three months to June.

The average price for the quarter was $264 per megawatt hour.

This is more than triple the $85 per megawatt-hour reported for the same period in 2021.

The AEMO said a combination of factors contributed to the “extraordinary” increase.

“Impacts on local fuel markets due to very high international prices for traded gas and thermal coal.

“The reduced availability of coal-fired power, due to scheduled maintenance as well as long and short downtimes, has resulted in a high level of gas-fired power generation, which has both increased electricity prices and put pressure on domestic gas market.

“Physical fuel supplies and hydrological limitations in some thermal and hydroelectric generators further limit their operational flexibility.”

Bruce Mountain, the newly inaugurated Director of the Victoria Center for Energy Policy at the University of Victoria, says Australians should expect their electricity bills to double in the next year.

“Australians haven’t seen a fraction of what’s to come,” he said

It will take “spectacular” cases for prices to fall again, he said.

“Honestly, we don’t know how much longer it will be until prices start to normalize,” Mountain said.

“I’ve seen some speculation maybe years, but we don’t know.”

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Our Prime Minister’s response to this crisis is stand by his model that renewable energy will lower the price of electricity. But even if renewables have the potential to drive down electricity prices, which it isn’t, by keeping it in place our Prime Minister is condemning ordinary Australians for paying too many years for electricity.

Remember those coal plants that were celebrated by Australian governments to close? Any of them could have an edge over today’s spiraling energy prices.

Remember those nuclear plants that Australia refused to consider building? Nuclear plants are not affected by short-term price fluctuations, they only have to be refueled every two years, and the next batch of fuel can be prepared ahead of time, ready for use. Australia has huge reserves of uranium.

One thing that won’t save us is renewable energy. If an engineer nation like Germany can’t make renewables work, if Germany can’t cut off their dependence on Russian gas through the billions they’ve invested in renewables, no one can do it.

Australia can do a lot to increase gas availability – just stay away, lifting ban on jailbreakand allowing entrepreneurs to make money by building much-needed gas wells would be enough.

But I do not expect a rational response to our energy price crisis from our current group of politicians. The Australian Government’s response so far has been to place their hopes on saving renewable energy during the day, while demonize gas companies, and threaten to usurp their gasunder emergency powers.

Gas appropriation can alleviate immediate shortages and help alleviate short-term shortages. But expropriation could cause a collapse in investment in the remaining gas field. No one likes to take their assets by force, and investors have been wary of Australia’s regulatory hostility. Expropriation could make it impossible for Australia to invest.


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