Features, Federal policy, Opinion, People and policy, State policy

The need for balance in energy

The outcome of the Queensland state election heightens the concern of energy investors that the Australian political environment today is an impediment to planning projects that need policy certainty for 10 to 20 years. How is this possible when investors don’t know who is going to govern the country, the states and the territories over the next five or 10 years?

There is a multitude of issues impacting on electricity supply that all lie at present in the “˜uncertain’ basket. Some of them cross over from gas to electricity; not least the question of the fate of existing gas-fired power generation on the east coast, white-anted by policy intervention that has choked the wholesale electricity market with way too much capacity and lack of political will that has undermined efforts to develop more gas resources in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW).

In the case of NSW, if you are a large gas-consuming business, you cannot get a clear indication at the moment whether there will be winter fuel shortfalls next year, in 2017 or in 2018. The former date is put forward by AGL Energy, the latter by the State government (with the caveat that it is working to prevent this happening).

Investors hoping that a major pipeline development from the Northern Territory to the east coast could overcome the impasse inside NSW borders must have choked on their breakfast when they heard about the

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