After years of energy war from the Coalition that has included:
- backing emissions trading;
- trashing emissions trading;
- backing renewable energy targets;
- trashing renewable energy targets;
- backing direct action;
- trashing direct action;
- backing the Chief Scientist;
- trashing the Chief Scientist;
- backing a National Energy Guarantee;
- trashing a National Energy Guarantee.
Today we get the new vision from Energy Minister Angus Taylor at the AFR:
First, we will not hesitate to intervene to stop the price-gouging…
Second, we will establish a price safety net to empower customers to get the best deal, ensuring retailers are held to account.
Third, we will back investment in baseload generation to retain supply and encourage competition. We will force divestments if necessary.
That 2017 wholesale price spike was not driven by the Hazelwood closure. It was driven by the gas cartel charging $20Gj which made gas peaking power very expensive and shut down combined-cycle gas capacity.
That tells you all you need to know about Mr Taylor’s plan. It will do bugger all. It is virtue signalling for troglodytes.
What needs to happen is simply more of what has already happened. Power prices fell from the 2017 spike after Malcolm Turnbull enacted the Australian Domestic Gas Reservation Mechanism (ADGSM) and the gas price halved. As we know, gas generation sets the marginal cost of power in the NEM. Cheaper gas is the major reason that power prices have fallen since 2017 then rose again this year as the gas price rose.
Just give us more gas reservation. Fix the gas price at $6Gj with the stroke of a pen and all problems in the Australian energy system will be solved in one magical instant.
It doesn’t require a Mont Blanc. Just a shitty biro will do.