Australia heading towards a ‘third-world power system,’ says expert

By on
Renewable Energy
Wind turbines can be seen behind electricity wires at the Infigen Energy wind farm located on the hills surrounding Lake George, 50 km north of the Australian capital city of Canberra, May 13, 2013. Reuters/David Gray

An expert in energy economics said Australia is pushing towards a “third-world power system.” Danny Price has published a report indicating Australia’s electricity grid may no longer be fit for a first-world country.

Price, the managing director of Frontier Economics, stated that Australia’s electricity grid was fit for a first-world country, but it was not for long. “We are heading towards a third-world power system very rapidly,” he said.

The nation heading to a third-world power system is caused by low reliability. In South Australia, it is specifically due to a very large quantity of renewable generation.

The energy economics expert has admitted that it is hard to arrest a decline in the quality of Australia’s power system. Price has shared an analysis suggesting the patchwork of various renewable energy targets will result to widespread power system security problems.

Currently, the Federal Government makes use of its Direct Action policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund, its Safeguard Mechanism and the Renewable Energy Target for the reduction of emissions. Its aim is to lessen emission by 26-28 percent on 2005 levels by 2030.

Furthermore, it is stated in the report that the Federal Government was “standing on the shoulders” of the states in its effort to meet the 2030 carbon emissions target. It also urges the Coalition to embrace emissions intensity scheme so emissions from the electricity sector can be lessened.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously rejected the Labor’s proposal of two emissions trading schemes. The Australian leader has called Labor party's position on renewable energy as ideology and  a “political claptrap.” “What we need to do is ensure that we keep the lights on, something the honourable member’s Labor colleagues in South Australia demonstrably failed to do,” he said.

The report has further stressed that the state’s dependence on renewable energy is a result of the national target. “All but one wind farm that's gone into South Australia has gone in because of the Commonwealth Government scheme, not because of the state Government,” the analysis states.

Price believes that it is never too late to fix the issue on power system security problems. He said it would only take some good decisions to fix it. “But given the way politics are panning out right now in Parliament, it doesn't look as if we've got any movement towards an improvement,” he said. Price is a respected expert in energy economics who helped design Australia's national energy market rules.

Join the Discussion