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.
Wholesale electricity prices have been falling in South Australia – a state previously burdened with the highest prices in the world.
In contrast to the claims of protesters, not everyone is opposed to fossil fuels. The majority of Australians rely on coal and gas-fired electricity to run their businesses, heat their homes and keep the lights on.
Power prices are at the centre of political debate this week, with retail practices coming under scrutiny. But there is a bigger picture which many in office in the State Governments – particularly Victoria.
It has been a bad couple of weeks for any hope of a non-partisan attempt by our political leaders to address Australia’s energy challenges. A fortnight ago we had the Victorian Premier adopting the language of the enviro-activist movement, telling the Commonwealth it could “frack off” with its urgings for a withdrawal of the State’s irrational gas-development bans.