Federal, state and territory energy ministers are gathering today in Brisbane for the tenth meeting of the COAG Energy Council. In the wake of the Finkel Review, and against a backdrop of rising electricity and gas prices, they have much to electricity and gas prices, they have much to discuss.
|The controversial Narrabri coal seam gas project. Australia has plenty |
of gas reserves that are cheaper to develop and a safer bet.
Some of the focus will certainly be on gas policy and prices. Earlier this week, the federal energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, argued that state governments should develop their onshore gas reserves to relieve pressure on the gas market.
Victoria and the Northern Territory both have bans on onshore gas development, introduced partly to protect prime farming land.
Controversially, federal Liberal MP Craig Kelly suggested on Thursday that pressure from renewable resources on energy prices meant that “people will die” this winter if they’re afraid to turn on their heating.
Yet it is gas generation, not renewables, that typically sets the price in the electricity market. As Fairfax reported yesterday, electricity prices move up and down with the gas price, almost exactly in tandem.
Read the piece on The Conversation by a Researcher from the Australian German Climate and Energy College at University of Melbourne, Dylan McConnell - “Memo to COAG: Australia is already awash with gas.”