10 December 2018

Newsflash. The government doesn’t need to break up power companies in order to tame prices. The ACCC says so

The federal Government should consider divestment powers broadly, rather than rushing to introduce them in one sector of the economy, electricity, because of a concern that its prices are too high.

23 November 2018

Labor’s battery plan – good policy, or just good politics?

Federal Labor obviously likes the politics of giving rebates of up to A$2,000 each to 100,000 households of prospective voters so they can install domestic batteries. But is this good policy that will support Australia’s transition to a reliable, affordable, low-emissions energy system, or is it just middle-class welfare?

1 November 2018

State governments can transform Australia’s energy policy from major fail to reliable success

Energy policy in Australia is a major failure. The federal government has been unable to forge an effective policy to ensure affordable, reliable and low-emissions electricity. It’s time for the states to step up.

23 October 2018

Only policy shockers on offer in rush to fill energy vacuum

Emerging from the political rubble after the Wentworth byelection, the federal government is desperately trying to get onto the front foot on energy policy. Yesterday the Prime Minister announced contentious new measures he hopes will force down electricity prices. On Friday, his energy minister, Angus Taylor, will lean on the state and territory governments to embrace a challenging agenda of interventions in the energy market.

24 September 2018

How Angus Taylor can avoid becoming Minister for Threats and Subsidies

Australians want lower electricity prices and governments are scrambling to give the voters what they want. But in this scramble, base politics is overwhelming good policy and the line between taxpayers and consumers is being blurred to the point of absurdity.

22 August 2018

Capping electricity prices: a quick fix with hidden risks

Governments have got the message: Australians are angry about electricity prices. The federal government has made a decisive shift away from reducing emissions to reducing prices. The good news is that price caps will probably work as advertised. The bad news is that capping prices could also have unintended consequences.

21 August 2018

How the federal government can get to NEG 2.0

The good ship NEG had almost unanimous support from the energy sector’s suppliers and customers. Yet it has been deliberately run aground by the captain and his mutinous crew. Australians are left to wonder what can be salvaged from the wreck, and what the grounding means for investors and consumers.

21 August 2018

We should mourn the NEG, latest victim of the ‘political slaughterhouse’

For more than a decade, integrated energy and climate policy has been the desired pathway to affordable, reliable and low-emissions electricity. One of the more credible vehicles to get us on that pathway, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), is the latest victim of the political slaughterhouse in Canberra that passes for government. Its death should be mourned by us all.

15 August 2018

All sides of the climate wars should give the NEG a chance

Australian homes and businesses need lower electricity prices. How to make that happen is now a three-way debate between federal Labor, the federal government and a vocal minority in the government. Addressing climate change has been downgraded or vilified.

17 July 2018

AEMO’s new electricity plan is neither a death knell nor a shot in the arm for coal

Beholders of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Integrated System Plan (ISP) see different futures for coal-fired generation: it’s either on the way out; or it’s going to be needed for decades; or perhaps even new coal plants should be built.