Energy Crisis in AustraliaThe news networks are reporting a looming petroleum gas price rise of 60 % in the coming financial year. Electricity prices may double in consequence too. The Treasurer is warning the industry to not sell overseas at World Market Priced unless they reserve enough for domestic needs or he will block that trade. Is that even possible given that the Australian Constitution apparently prohibits nationalization or confiscation without fair compensation? Maybe the industry has legal advice to that effect that emboldens them to foreshadow big price rises?
The USA, the great bastion of unfettered capitalism, have a strategic reserve for oil & gasoline that gives them a year’s worth of supply while Australia would be lucky to hold two weeks worth of petrol! Successive Governments exhibiting negligence on a monumental scale!
For a start they need to start incrementally, year by year, to build petrol and gas reserves in this great land so we too hold a year’s worth – within say five years. In particular, gas-powered electricity generation plants ought have dedicated gas storage facilities in reasonable proximity to their plants. The long distance electricity transmission lines are not only inherently inefficient with the losses ending up, as does all waste energy, as planet warming heat but they plan to build even more rather than locating small scale generation in proximity to consumption sites – perhaps even on moveable floating platforms that could be flexibly located. Any energy- resources export duty to mitigate the drain of reasonably priced domestic supplies needs to be balanced by some investment in developing our energy supply and deployment infrastructure too. Naturally a mix of electricity storage technologies should be incentivized too but all such steps really need to be incremental because shock therapies always have unintended consequences and technologies continue to evolve.