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Energy giants seeking to avoid reforms that would lower power bills


An article by Danel Cass published in The Conversation on 17th June 2020 [1] has emphasised that Australia’s energy market is outdated, in that it does not encourage competition and is holding back the full transition to renew- able energy systems. According to the author “important reforms to modernise the market are on the way, but big energy companies are seeking to use the cover of COVID-19 to prevent the change”.

He also makes the point that “renewable energy is the cheapest form of new electricity. It’s far better for the environment than coal and gas, and can deliver reliable supplies when backed by batteries and other energy storage”.

Under the subtitle “Getting future-ready” the author makes the following addition- al points:

“ Once the health crisis is over and the economic recovery has begun, Australia will need the economic and social benefits of electricity market reform even more than before.

“ Such reform ‘stimulus’ would help ready the grid for the inevitable retirement of coal-fired power stations, such as Liddell in 2023.

“ It would also align with state government investments in renewable energy, and boost private investment in new generation (which recently slumped) and large-scale batteries.

“ Electricity remains Australia’s highest- polluting sector. Around the world, electricity markets are planning the transit- ion from high to low emissions.

“ Delaying reform in Australia would be a major setback on the path to our essential energy transition. “


Danel J Cass is Research Affiliate, Sydney Business School, University of Sydney

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