Warning of more power shortfalls as PM holds crisis meeting

9 News – 04 July 2022

There are warnings of further power shortages across eastern Australia today as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese holds an emergency meeting to solve the energy crisis.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has warned Queensland should expect another minor shortage between 5pm and 10.30pm.

But the Queensland government has assured residents today that the state has extra supply there, if it needs it, particularly when peak demand kicks in tonight.

The energy regulator has warned of more power shortfalls through today as the energy crisis continues. (AAP) Victoria and New South Wales should also expect shortfalls in the system later today, the AEMO said.

The regulator urged NSW residents, particularly Sydneysiders, to limit energy usage.

“To minimise the stress on the system, AEMO is requesting consumers in New South Wales to temporarily reduce their energy usage, where safe to do so,” the regulator tweeted last night.

At a press conference alongside Albanese today, Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the greatest pressure would come for NSW between 6pm and 8pm AEST.

“AEMO and (NSW Treasurer Matt Kean) have asked people (that) nothing essential should be turned off, nothing that is necessary for heating. But if you have a choice about when to run certain items, don’t run them from 6pm to 8pm,” he said.

He said he was confident blackouts would still be avoided.

There are also concerns South Australia may experience shortages. The state government is threatening to stop the export of energy out of the state, if blackouts occur.

Albanese and Bowen will meet with industry leaders later today in an attempt to solve the crisis.

Bowen said New South Wales is the state that’s looking the tightest today when it comes to electricity supply.

“At its heart it’s a problem caused by coal-fired power station closures and outages,” he said.

“We need the new investment.”

The states affected by Australia’s energy crisis. (Nine)

He backed the energy regulator taking control of the market.

“It wouldn’t be a universally popular move,” Bowen said.

“It puts consumers first.”

Albanese said renewables remained the long-term solution, lambasting previous governments for putting politics ahead of policy.

“The cheapest form of new energy is clean energy, that has been where investment is going but it hasn’t been feeding into the grid because the transmission system isn’t a 21st century one,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the ageing coal-fired power stations have been more susceptible to outages and disruption because they are old. We know that is the case.”

Yesterday the AEMO halted the electricity market in a drastic intervention as the nation’s power supply faces “very challenging times”.


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