13 July 2018

Policy overload: why the ACCC says household solar subsidies should be abolished

The keenly awaited report on retail electricity prices, released this week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has made some controversial recommendations – not least the call to wind up the scheme that offers incentives for household solar nearly ten years early.

12 July 2018

Argument for subsidies has no power in economic merit based world

Australians need energy policy that is driven by neither green evangelism for renewables nor a deep-seated fear to protect the role of coal for baseload power.

12 July 2018

The ACCC has produced vital ammunition to reform energy

On Wednesday, the ACCC released its highly anticipated report on electricity affordability. This report complements the Finkel blueprint that focused on reliability and security and the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) that integrates energy and climate policy. The ACCC concludes that the National Electricity Market (NEM) has not worked for consumers and must be reset. It is unsparing in its criticism of the market participants, governments and the regulatory bodies. Its recommendations will leave none of them untouched.

2 July 2018

Higher energy prices are here to stay – here’s what we can do about it

The good news is that after two years of big rises, wholesale electricity prices have fallen somewhat since mid-2017. The bad news is that prices are still much higher than they have been for most of the past 20 years. And the worse news is that we had better get used to these high prices.

1 July 2018

Why politicians have to stop promising to cut electricity prices

Australian households and businesses are waiting with intense frustration for governments to fix the problem of high energy prices. But they will not easily forgive the same governments for more blackouts, or for failing to confront the challenge of climate change. Herein lies the trilemma for governments and the reason for the intense policy debate on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

19 April 2018

Energy ministers must beware the power of conflicts of interest

A well-designed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) for Australia will include a world-first integration of energy and climate change policy. It will deliver reliable and affordable energy as we make the transition to a low-emissions energy future. Yet the challenges ahead will test the skills of even such an energetic politician as Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

18 April 2018

Australia’s slow march towards a National Energy Guarantee is gathering pace

The finer policy details of the of the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) have begun to leak onto newspaper front pages and websites, ahead of Friday’s crucial meeting of federal and state energy ministers. The good news is that the leaked information suggests solid progress has been made over the past couple of months on both the emissions and reliability components of the policy.

28 March 2018

Heat is on to stop surge in Queensland power bills

The cost of the electricity grid in Queensland has gone up by 75 per cent in a decade – and we’re all paying for it through our power bills. Under successive state governments, more and more money has been spent on building network infrastructure. Trouble is, it’s not clear what benefit consumers are getting from the excessive spending on a bigger network.

26 March 2018

You’re paying too much for electricity, but here’s what the states can do about it

State-owned power networks have spent up to A$20 billion more than was needed on the electricity grid, and households and businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania are paying for it in sky-high power bills.

26 March 2018

Why are our power bills so high? We’re paying for mistakes of the past

The cost of the electricity grid in NSW has almost doubled in a decade — and we’re all paying for it through our power bills. Under successive state governments, more and more money has been spent on building network infrastructure. The trouble is, it’s not clear what benefit consumers are getting from the excessive spending on a bigger network.