24 November 2017

Energy ministers’ power policy pow-wow is still driven more by headlines than details

A quick scan of this week’s headlines shows the government’s new energy plan would “slash A$120 off power bills” and that the “Turnbull government plan to address energy crisis predicts A$400 price drop”. Yes, the initial findings of the modelling of the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) are out. Cue the latest round of bluster, misinformation and confusion.

22 November 2017

There is no credible alternative to the National Energy Guarantee

The NEG is far from perfect, primarily because the hard work of detailed design has yet to be done. The next best step would be for all parties to commit to making the NEG a workable solution to a serious national problem.

20 October 2017

Why are our electricity bills so high? The answers may surprise you

Given the central role it plays in our lives, electricity would be good value at almost any price. But as an essential service, critical to people’s health, safety and wellbeing, prices must remain affordable for all.

17 October 2017

Energy Security Board offers the government a circuit-breaker for energy crisis

The Turnbull government’s long-awaited National Energy Guarantee should be supported, not only within the Coalition but by Labor, the states, the energy industry and by electricity consumers.

17 October 2017

How the National Energy Guarantee could work better than a clean energy target

The Turnbull government has announced its new energy policy, called the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). No, it’s not Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s Clean Energy Target. But it is a policy that will drive down emissions in the electricity sector after 2020 and can be adapted by the Labor Party to hit the emissions-reduction target of any future Labor government.

11 October 2017

What federal and state energy ministers should do next – response to the AEMC’s Strategic Priorities Discussion Paper

Australia’s energy sector needs clear goals. We recommend five immediate strategic priorities for federal and state energy ministers: returning stability to governance of the sector; agreeing on a credible emissions reduction policy; fast-tracking security and reliability measures; ensuring access to domestic gas supplies; and rewarding consumers who help to reduce system costs (by, for example, cutting their electricity use during periods of peak demand).

10 October 2017

Despite the charged atmosphere, Frydenberg and Finkel have the same goal for electricity

We should not expect the Finkel-designed Clean Energy Target to become a reality. But we can hope for a policy response that fundamentally delivers the same result – affordable, reliable electricity in line with our emissions reduction target.

29 September 2017

‘No one is steering the ship’: five lessons learned (or not) since the SA blackout

Looking back on the past year, we have come a long way, but it is still not clear where we are going and who will steer us there. Australians must hope that the new Energy Security Board, which includes the heads of the three main energy institutions, can help state and federal governments chart a steady course.

11 September 2017

Time for pragmatism, not panic, for the electricity market

There was a familiar kneejerk reaction to last week’s announcement by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that there are risks to our electricity supply after the scheduled closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station in New South Wales in 2022. The sight of the Prime Minister looking for options to keep Liddell open raises the spectre of further reflexive government intervention that can’t end well.

10 September 2017

Will policy stability really fix the national energy market and boost capacity?

Australia needs affordable, reliable, secure and sustainable power. But last week the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) warned of imminent shortages and longer-term problems. Governments are inclined to intervene even as industry pleads for stable policy. Homes and businesses face a clear and present danger: unaffordable and unreliable power and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

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