Home General News No short-term easing of electricity prices: Bowen

No short-term easing of electricity prices: Bowen

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

Energy costs won’t fall much in the short term as Australians prepare for a power price hike on July 1, Energy Secretary Chris Bowen admits.

Mr. Bowen acknowledged the imminent price hike and said it would take time to implement the government’s plan to move to renewables and strengthen the energy grid.

“It will take some time for our policy to work. I think people understand that you can’t fix 10 years of neglect in 10 days,” he told Nine Network on Thursday.

No short-term easing of electricity prices“We need to lay 10,000 kilometers of transmission cables to get our system up and running. You can’t do that in six months; you can’t do that in a year.”

Mr. Bowen also criticized the former government for delaying news of a July 1 electricity price hike until after the election.

“The old government was on that before the elections. It had to be released under the new government, the news that utility bills were going up,” he said.

“The old government knew about it but did nothing to release the numbers for the election, surprise, surprise.”

Mr. Bowen also highlighted the bringing forward of implementing the capacity mechanism, which will help strengthen energy supplies from 2025.

“I wish it happened sooner. I will work with the states and territories to try and make that happen; I’ve been clear on that,” he told ABC.

“This is an important safety net.”

The Liberals have criticized Labor for telling Australians their electricity prices would fall if elected.

“The sense of panic that there is from Chris Bowen at the moment was not there when the coalition was in government,” opposition leader Peter Dutton said earlier.

“What’s happening to the economy right now — I mean, it’s always happening on Labour’s watch.”

The suspension of trading on the national energy market eased from Thursday morning after the market party indicated that there would be sufficient capacity for homes and businesses.

Following a “clear improvement” in energy conditions, the Australian energy market operator said it would begin a phased process to bring the market back to normal.

The system was destabilized last week, prompting AEMO to take control to stabilize the power supply.

The energy market was able to start determining prices again on Thursday from 4 a.m.

The market operator plans to fully lift the unprecedented trading suspension after 24 hours of monitoring the conditions.

AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman said there would be a step-by-step approach to lifting the suspension. He said there had been a huge improvement in the market, with about 4,000 megawatts of a generation returning to the power grid after outages.

“That means the risk of a shortage has been significantly reduced,” said Mr. Westerman.

“We know that many generators are working hard and closely with governments to build confidence in their fuel supply, to ensure they can operate at the desired output level.”

The market operator said it expected the system used to schedule power generation in the grid to operate without disruptions.

This was due to a low number of generator instructions and a reduction in expected energy shortages as electricity suppliers reacted to market signals.

Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, said the resumption of the national energy market is a sign of easing pressure in the sector.

However, he said the situation was far from normal.

†[This] is the first step on the way out of energy hell and to purgatory; we can stay here for a very long time,” he said.

“We are not back to normal, and there is no basis for easing.”

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