The Federal Government has announced it is finalising tough gas regulations to increase supply to the domestic market and put downward pressure on gas prices which have risen because of supply shortfalls.
In a statement, the Government said restrictions will be placed on gas exporters when there are shortages in the domestic market. This will commence on July 1.
“We simply cannot allow Australians to pay more for Australian gas than competitors overseas do.”
The Government will also take immediate action to address escalating electricity prices.
“We will stop big electricity companies from running to the courts to try to overturn the Australian Energy Regulator’s decisions. Companies have made 52 appeals and the courts have ruled against consumers 31 times. This will end.”
“To back this, we will strengthen the Regulator by providing it with an additional $67.4 million to ensure it is fully equipped to address behaviour in the market that is pushing up electricity prices.”
The Government will ask the responsible market body, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), to:
- identify the existing and potential loss of continuous, dispatchable (baseload) generation;
- talk to suppliers and customers, particularly large-scale emissions intensive industrial users, about what they need to secure future investment; and
- examine how much continuous power is needed in the short term to
stabilise power prices.
“On the back of the identified need, we will ask AEMO how best to ensure the new continuous dispatchable power is provided, optimising affordability and security for consumers, including what if any support, including support from Governments if new investment is needed.”
“Baseload power anchors our electricity system. Continuous generation underpins our household and economic security. With a significant amount of baseload generation being phased out over the next 15 years, we need to ensure we are prepared and have enough power to meet future needs.”
At an emergency COAG Energy Council meeting last year, following South Australia’s state-wide blackout, the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel was tasked with developing a long term blueprint for the future security of the national electricity market.
“We are continuing to examine his report with the care it deserves. The Commonwealth will progress the recommendations of the Chief Scientist, through the COAG Energy Council, which focus on enhanced security, stability, transparency and governance of the energy system and will continue further to consider and analyse the Clean Energy Target.”