Top energy producer Australia braces for power cuts

Top energy producer Australia braces for power cuts

Top energy producer Australia braces for power cuts

Top energy producer Australia braces for power cuts (credits:-google)

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  • Queensland and New South Wales could be worst hit.
  • Australia is one of the world’s largest coal and gas producers.
  • Roughly a quarter of country’s coal-fired power plants offline due to outages and maintenance.
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On Tuesday, residents along Australia’s densely populated east coast could expect blackouts due to an energy crisis afflicting one of the world’s largest coal and gas producers.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that there could be serious power shortages in Queensland and New South Wales, which have a combined population of about 13 million people.

It also issued warnings about potential reserve shortages in Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.

The energy problem, according to newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, was caused by the previous government, which had been in office for nearly a decade.

He told reporters in Brisbane that “the effects of the prior government’s failure to put in place an energy policy are being felt right now.”

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As his government considers how to alleviate the crisis that has dominated his centre-left government’s first weeks in power, Albanese stated “all options are on the table.”

The Australian Energy Market Operator spent much of Tuesday negotiating with generators but an Aus$300/MWh ($208) pricing cap left many unwilling to put more electricity into the grid.

It was also considering compelling corporations to create additional electricity, a tactic it used to avoid blackouts in Queensland on Monday.

Although Australia is one of the top three gas and coal producers in the world, roughly a quarter of the country’s coal-fired power plants are now offline due to outages and maintenance.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, export demand for Australian gas has increased, soaking up any possible surplus that could help alleviate the domestic shortfall.

A cold snap on the east coast has exacerbated the supply problems, prompting electricity providers to urge residents to reduce their energy consumption.

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As long as there are no more outages, Energy Minister Chris Bowen said Tuesday he believes there is enough supply in the system to avoid loadshedding and blackouts.

Low temperatures, coal plant outages, geopolitical pressures, and record east coast floods have all combined to produce the situation, he warned Australians to “expect a rocky winter.”

According to government estimates, fossil fuels produced 71 percent of Australia’s electricity last year, with coal alone accounting for 51 percent.

To avoid such crises, energy expert Richie Merzian of The Australia Institute believes the balance needs to shift.

“As long as Australia’s reliance on gas and coal continues, Australian consumers will be at the mercy of global fuel costs influenced by events beyond our control,” he warned.

 

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