26 June 2017
The energy and climate change policy minefield is littered with the carcasses of Australian political leaders, both Labor and Liberal. But there is a path through. The rewards for finding it will be big for this government and its leader – and ultimately for Australian businesses and households.
22 June 2017
Australians should be deeply concerned about the signals coming from the Turnbull government since this month’s release of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s landmark report on the future of Australia’s electricity system.
17 June 2017
The Finkel Review delivered an energy system blueprint with a clear objective: secure and reliable electricity, at the lowest cost, while Australia moves to a lower emissions future. Regrettably, the current political debate seems more likely to deliver the opposite outcome: less secure and reliable electricity, at higher cost.
12 June 2017
Alan Finkel’s energy review has met the objective set for it. His Blueprint for the Future can deliver a secure, reliable and affordable electricity system for Australia while ensuring the nation can meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The focus in coming days will be on the blueprints’ problems and weaknesses rather than its opportunities and strengths. But the reality is that aiming higher is simply unachievable for now – and aiming lower will doom us to higher prices and lower security.
9 June 2017
Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s long-awaited review of the National Electricity Market, released today, will make a significant difference to Australia’s electricity system in three key areas: reliability (making sure the system generates enough power to meet demand), security (making sure the system doesn’t break), and governance (making sure the electricity market can run effectively).
26 May 2017
The Australian Federal Court announced a decision that will boost the coffers of electricity networks in New South Wales by around $3 billion. Electricity bills will rise, future increases will be higher than they would otherwise have been and the decision will flow on to other states. The result is a monument to process over outcome.
22 May 2017
State and federal politicians have announced a series of uncoordinated and potentially expensive interventions, most notably the Turnbull government’s Snowy Hydro 2.0 proposal and the South Australian government’s go-it-alone power plan. But what we really need is substantial market reforms, rather than piecemeal government investments in various energy projects.
22 May 2017
Change in Australia’s electricity system is here now, and there is more on the horizon. Even the survival of the NEM itself cannot be assumed; alternatives may be needed in the longer term. The policy choices Australia makes in 2017 will determine whether we depend on the ongoing primacy of markets, or shift towards central planning and regulation.
16 March 2017
Two electricity storage announcements have been overshadowed by an unedifying, public stoush between South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and the federal Minister for Energy, Josh Frydenberg. Australia’s energy system is surely too important for this petty politicking.
14 March 2017
The energy sector was supposed to be the showcase for privatisation and market deregulation. Yet in 2017, this premise is being sorely tested – no more so than in electricity retailing, where competition has failed to deliver on its promise of lower prices for customers.