The Albanese Labor Government is doing all it can to ensure the lights will go out and today’s energy ministers meeting has turned the dimmer switch one dial further by killing the ‘capacity mechanism’. 

To ensure an orderly transition to a net zero emissions energy system, the Coalition worked closely with the Energy Security Board (ESB) on a series of reforms, including a capacity mechanism, which would guarantee the supply of on-demand energy into the National Electricity Market (NEM).

As the ESB originally envisaged, the delivery of affordable and reliable energy in Australia’s energy market will require a balance of technologies as we transition towards a net zero energy system.

Instead, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen has rejected the advice of the experts and ripped coal and gas out from the generator technologies available under the capacity mechanism.

Ironically, this decision also sets up renewables to fail because it accelerates their roll out while throwing out existing capacity and leaves the entire system vulnerable for when Labor’s plan fails, and it will fail.

Throwing an extra $10 billion at building out renewables without any detail behind the whopping commitment is evidence that the government’s plan isn’t working, and the market isn’t backing it.  

After months of inaction on addressing skyrocketing prices, the government has decided its best course of action is to throw money at a problem and hope it goes away.

The news comes as the latest ACCC report into the electricity market cast further doubt on Labor’s energy promises by forecasting “high and volatile (energy) prices are expected to persist for multiple years.”

Labor’s energy policy settings have already forced the premature closure of more than 20GW of dispatchable electricity generation by 2035, with no guarantee of a replacement being ready in time and this creates even further risks for the future stability of Australia’s electricity supplies.

After Minister Bowen today ensured blackouts will be a regular feature of Australia’s future energy system, it’ll be the Prime Minister’s turn tomorrow and I suspect he will make our future darker yet.     

Mitch Bland 0401 257 064

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