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energy crisis

The lowdown on Australia’s energy crisis

27 Feb 2018
Chris - amaysim blogger


amaysim's Energy guru

There’s a lot of confusing information about Australia’s energy crisis on the web. Get the simple facts you need to know here.

Australia’s energy crisis. You’ve read the doom and gloom headlines and watched politicians bicker about it on TV. With so many contributing factors to break down and finger pointing occurring, it can be a little tricky to understand what’s happening.

Don’t let media-scare tactics let you believe we’re in for an energy apocalypse. We can help navigate you through Australia’s energy crisis (so there’s no need to start packing your bags for Canada just yet).

the crisis: what is it?

To start off: what is Australia’s energy crisis?

Stated plainly, it means our power is becoming one of the priciest in the world due to our limited supply of energy for the demand of our economy. Yikes.

Also, in spite of gradual attempts to utilise more renewable energy, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb, which isn’t a great look. A stable national energy system needs to be reliable, affordable, and low in carbon emissions.

To understand the current energy crisis, let’s take a look at how the heck it happened.

the gas crisis

Gas is currently in a supply and demand crisis. The majority of gas produced in Australia is exported overseas, which has meant a reduction in domestic gas supply. The shortage of gas available has increased the price considerably.

Unfortunately for us, experts predict the gas shortfall will be 3 times worse than previously expected for 2018. Fortunately, Malcolm Turnbull seems to be all over it and gas producers have agreed to increase supply for the local demand. Phew (for now).

balancing renewable energy and fossil fuels

Along with the gas shortage, the closure of several coal-fired energy generators has been labelled one of the top contributors to the energy crisis in Australia. The generators closing down coincide with their end-of-life date but it’s also to help make the transition towards renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. In theory, this is awesome for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. However, renewable energy is pricey and can’t yet meet the current energy demands to make up for the generators being shut down abruptly, which has also placed higher demand on gas.

no clear-cut policy

There’s no denying the lack of a consistent policy on cutting greenhouse gas emissions has contributed to Australia’s unstable energy system. The back-and-forth between governments in power and the disagreement among politicians on a suitable policy has greatly impacted Australia’s ability to smoothly transition to a cleaner energy system.

In order to decrease energy prices, a Clean Energy Target (or similar) should be implemented. But we’ll leave that one up to parliament.

what it means

So what does this mean for you at home? The crux of it is the retail price of electricity and gas has increased and will continue to climb. If you don’t have a decent energy plan in place, you may be hit with the brunt of the cost. Energy retailers are upping their electricity and gas prices – if you’re not with the right energy provider you’ll be shelling out more dollars per year on your power bill.

The other thing is the power grid might not keep up with the high energy demands, which would result in power outages. The inclusion of nonsynchronous generated power such as solar and wind, means the grid is less stable and more prone to possible blackouts as it cannot deal with a sudden change in frequency – like the blackout South Australia experienced due to wild weather in 2016. To stabilise the system, it’s been suggested that we need a greater mix of renewable energy.

what you can do

We aren’t about to succumb to eternal darkness tomorrow, but we still might be hit with a hefty price.

So how can you avoid being hit with costly energy bills? It starts and ends with your energy provider. Make sure your energy plan is cost-effective and suitable for your household’s needs; shop around and compare the prices of energy plans to ensure you’re receiving the best deal.

If you haven’t already, implementing green energy in your home such as solar power is a great way to reduce your power bill as well as your carbon footprint. Switching to an energy retailer who is investing in a renewable market is a step towards a stable energy system in Australia.

So, if you're looking to make the switch, remember to check out our great-value home energy plans.