Addressing Energy Issues and its Impacts on the Customer

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In the past 12 months we’ve seen rising electricity prices, a state-wide blackout in South Australia, load-shedding in SA and NSW, large generation capacity leaving the market on short notice, wholesale market volatility and large businesses facing real challenges securing supplies of gas.

You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s an energy shortage in Australia; the real problem is confidence – the confidence to invest in energy.

And right now customers are wearing the cost. Any approach to addressing energy issues must start and end by considering impacts on the customer.

Success means delivering reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for all Australians. Solutions that don’t consider all three elements aren’t solutions, instead they lead to volatile markets, problems with the security of supply and rising prices.

No one pretends it’s an easy fix, but the answer isn’t rocket science. It’s about enabling confidence in contracting and investment.

Three key things will encourage confidence:

  1. Policy stability – a national and durable policy framework.
  2. Market transparency – adequate planning information around retirements and other significant market variables informs when and where to contract and invest.
  3. A firm, durable emissions trajectory – we need clear signals to investors about our emissions trajectory.

The National Electricity Market (NEM) has delivered over 15,000 MW of capacity since inception (about 30% of total capacity today). The NEM has shown it can deliver stable prices with system stability. Enhancing the NEM to incorporate a future balancing reliability, affordability and emissions reductions will deliver the right outcomes for our customers.

Mark Collette
Executive – Energy

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