Electricity price shock unprecedented


The latest Australian Energy Regulator (AER) report into the national electricity market paints a very grim picture of future electricity prices for South Australian households and employers.

The AER notes: In the nine months to 31 March 2017 South Australia’s weekly prices averaged $128 per megawatt per hour, which was an unprecedented level for the NEM.

“That unprecedented surge in the cost of electricity will flow into household bills in South Australia over the next 12 months,” said Shadow Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“In the 12 months since the Port Augusta power station closed, spot prices on the electricity market have increased by 105 per cent when compared with the previous year and forward contract prices have jumped by 46 per cent.

“Household consumers faced increases in electricity prices of up to 12 per cent last year and will be hit with another large increase this year.

“Jay Weatherill’s foolish energy policies forced the Northern Power station to close and stripped the market of cheap, baseload power.

“As a consequence of forcing South Australia’s cheapest generator to close net imports from Victoria have increased by 48%, pouring South Australians money into the coffers of Victorian generators.

“Adding insult to injury there have been six major blackouts since the closure of the Northern Power station increased the fragility of South Australia’s electricity grid, and the Government was warned of this likelihood.

“The Weatherill Government’s failed energy policies are feeding into South Australia’s jobs crisis as businesses cut labour costs to pay for increased electricity costs.

“Had Jay Weatherill invested $8 million per annum in the Northern Power station there would be no need for his $550 million bailout of South Australia’s electricity network.

“If the Northern Power station’s 540 megawatts of power had still been available Jay Weatherill would not be spending $360 million on 250 megawatts of back-up power that will operate a couple of days a year.

“There would be no need to spend potentially $80 million on the 200 megawatts of diesel generators that Jay Weatherill is installing to keep the lights on next summer.”