26 June 2017

Steering post-Finkel energy policy through a minefield of friends and foes

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

The government’s new energy plans will leave investors less confident than ever

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

Finkel Review is not about forecasts, it is about making informed choices

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

The Finkel Review’s blueprint will give secure, reliable and affordable energy

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

The Finkel Review: finally, a sensible and solid footing for the electricity sector

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

Customers suffer as electricity regulation falls apart

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

Politicians: please ease off on ‘announceables’ until after the electricity market review

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

This year will determine if Australia still believes in energy markets

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

An energy slanging match is not a hopeful sign

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

Why the free market hasn’t slashed power prices (and what to do about it)

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.

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