Energy Regulator exposes electricity price shock

The State Liberals have released the latest data from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) showing South Australian base load electricity prices will be the most expensive in the National Electricity Market (NEM) during the next three years.

“Electricity prices in South Australia are set to escalate sharply during the next three years whilst reducing in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, despite those states already being significantly cheaper than SA,” said Shadow Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“With South Australia already suffering the highest unemployment in the nation and ABS jobs figures out later today, unfortunately these electricity prices make grim reading for South Australians looking for work.

“AER electricity futures prices show South Australia hitting $86.4 a megawatt hour in the first quarter of next year whereas the same electricity in Victoria will cost just $47.7 a megawatt hour.

“Both Victoria and South Australia have privatised electricity markets, so that is not the difference; the difference is whether the state government gets the energy policy and the generation mix right or not.”

“By the third quarter of 2018 the South Australian cost has jumped to $94.4 per megawatt hour – that’s 126 per cent higher than the Victorian price of $41.30 per megawatt hour.

“Businesses looking to invest in new job creating opportunities in Australia shun high cost jurisdictions and South Australia will have the most expensive base load power in the NEM.

“All South Australians will be being paying the price of the Weatherill Government’s failed energy policies with the most expensive power in the NEM.

“The Weatherill Government’s over-zealous rush into wind farms without associated large scale battery storage is directly responsible for the surging price of electricity in South Australia.

“There is a place for a healthy component of sustainable energy in the South Australian market but it must be in balance.

“We should have as much renewable energy generation as possible, but until that energy can be stored there is appoint beyond which we cannot go without it destablising the market and leading to increased prices.”