The final report into retail electricity pricing from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found government moratoria on onshore gas exploration and development has “stifled the availability of gas at a low price”.
The inquiry, which was commissioned in 2017 by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, found that the onshore gas bans, in addition to LNG exports from eastern Australia, have increased the price of the commodity at a time when gas powered generation is more important, after the closure of coal-fired power stations.
The report, which includes 56 recommendations to “fix” the National Electricity Market, states that encouraging an increased supply of competitively priced gas is crucial to moderating electricity prices.
“The National Electricity Market is largely broken and needs to be reset,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.
“Previous approaches to policy, regulatory design and competition in this sector over at least the past decade have resulted in a serious electricity affordability problem for consumers and businesses.”
“While important steps have been taken recently, restoring electricity affordability will require wide ranging and comprehensive action.
“We believe our changes can and will, if adopted, have a powerful and tangible impact on electricity affordability for all Australians.”
Click here for a copy of the full report.
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