Another step toward greater customer confidence in the Australian natural gas market has been achieved this week, with the implementation of new disclosure rules for pipeline transportation costs.
Historically, state governments are upbeat if they sense a potential development project that could employ people and lower prices for a widely used commodity – especially if private enterprise is willing to take the risk and pay for that development.
‘Gas prices, supply on the mend: watchdog.’ That was the heading in The Age this week, as the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission provided insight into the state of play in the East Coast gas market.
When Queensland Senator (and former Resources Minister) Matt Canavan said renewable energy was not cheaper than coal-fired power he was attacked by anti-coal activists in social media.
Some of Australia’s most experienced independent energy economics analysts came to a similar conclusion this week: the East Coast needs more gas; and current policy settings federally and in NSW/Victoria are not going to solve the problem of gas supply and rising electricity prices.
ERIC Director Steve Wright’s Letter to the Editor on why the Narrabri Gas Project is now more important than ever.
Amidst the headlines this week about forecast shortfalls in domestic gas supplies, there are some pointers from regulators and policymakers to the impacts that state-based moratoria on onshore gas exploration and development are having on supply availability.
If the chairman of the ACCC, Mr Rod Sims is right, then Australia is about to take the almost unprecedented step of interfering with export contracts to redirect gas to the domestic market.