Victorian consumers used to enjoy some of the cheapest energy in the world; manufacturers thrived on low-cost gas and electricity. Not any more.
When the heat was on in eastern Australia last week, there was very little wind. For this reason, wind-power rich South Australia was relying on brown-coal electricity from Victorian generators 1000km away – and they were paying a pretty price for it.
When South Australia suffered its dramatic whole-of-State blackout last year, it was natural gas to the rescue, restoring power to millions of consumers and thousands of bewildered businesses.
Businesses will need to cut their power use this summer or face supply interruptions, despite a reinstatement of some dormant gas-fired power generation, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
Anyone suggesting the path to the renewable energy future is being somehow blocked by industry or political “dinosaurs” needs to take a good look at the facts, both on cost and the rapid rise of renewable energy.
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.
AEMO this week released its latest forecast of energy needs, highlighting a pressing concern for continuity of electricity supply in NSW and other parts of the East Coast network in the decade ahead.
Australia faces electricity supply challenges in the decade ahead if additional generation capacity is not brought on board, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.