Gaslighting in the energy market
Instead, it translates into concrete commercial decisions despite the inherent uncertainty of politics in a federal system usually operating at cross purposes. It still requires working within the framework of the Morrison government’s determination to keep energy prices low and supply reliable when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
Battery technology and pumped hydro cannot yet fill that gap, leaving gas as a practical alternative in the short term at least. But private sector investment in new gas projects has been missing in action due to concern about their financial future in a lower emissions economy.
Such confusion is compounded by growing commercial pressure on coal generators to quit the market ahead of planned exits staggered over the next 20 years, especially given low wholesale prices currently pushing major energy companies like EnergyAustralia, AGL and Origin into reporting big write-downs and losses.
EnergyAustralia recently announced it will close its Yallourn power station in Victoria in 2028, four years ahead of schedule, for example. Yet even staying open this long required an undisclosed though substantial pay-off from the …
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