Prices powering along

April 08, 2019

The Australian Financial Review reports, average wholesale electricity prices in Victorian and South Australia hit record levels in the March quarter "thanks to extreme heat", forcing the market operator to pass on $34 million in emergency costs.

The Conservative Party has pointed to the fact that it is not "extreme heat" but the unrealistic reliance on subsidised renewable energy sources that is wholly responsible for the spike in the electricity price.

Average prices hit $220.15 per megawatt hour in South Australia and $212.63 in Victoria, more than twice typical average prices for the two states, according to new University of Melbourne figures.

The prices are even higher than for the March, June quarters of 2017 which were driven up by the closure of Victoria's Hazelwood power station.

Raise your bat South Australia - you just set a national record price for electricity!

And with more renewables coming down the energy pipeline, this record will not likely last long.

A key reason why SA (and increasingly Victoria) has been recording eye-watering electricity prices – and will continue to do so – is in these graphs and particularly in these two.

As intermittent renewables need back-up sources to be useful, you need two generating sources where you originally had one.

As their penetration increases (towards 50% in parts of the grid, for example SA now, and Australia-wide by 2030 under Bill Shorten’s Labor) then so does the cost of generation (which, in effect, has to be duplicated), despite their fuel (wind or sun) being free and their parts becoming ever-cheaper for China to build.

When you hear the phrase “the costs of wind and solar continues to decline and are now cheaper than fossil fuel power” you are not being told the full story and are being deliberately misled.

Bring back common sense to Canberra, vote "1" Australian Conservatives at May's federal election.

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