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Delivering a healthy national electricity market

24 February 2020

The latest report card on the National Electricity Market (NEM) demonstrates that the Morrison Government’s reforms are putting downward pressure on prices and improving market transparency and competition.

Released today, the Energy Security Board’s (ESB) third annual Health of the National Electricity Market report finds the market has continued to improve over the past year, with electricity prices becoming more affordable across Australia and continuing to fall.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the report also highlighted ongoing challenges for the sector by raising critical concerns about maintaining security and reliability of electricity supplies when wind and solar power is not available.

“The Government is delivering policies that are driving down electricity prices and build resilience into our national electricity supply,” Mr Taylor said.

“The Government has consistently prioritised action to encourage new, reliable supply, and continues to focus on future energy security to keep the lights on for Australian families and businesses,” said Mr Taylor.

The report also shows unprecedented growth in renewables is putting pressure on the grid with more utility-scale wind and solar PV projects being rolled out across Australia. It is forecast that wind and solar will account for 40 per cent of Australia’s electricity by 2030 compared to an estimated 16 per cent in 2018-19.

The report points to Australian Energy Market Commission analysis, which said residential electricity prices should fall by around 7.1 per cent, or $97 between 2018-19 and 2021-22.

The positive impact of the Morrison Government’s Default Market Offer price safety net is also highlighted by the ESB. This landmark reform has significantly cut the costs of standing offers since its introduction last year, and is helping consumers compare offers to find the cheapest deal.

Australia is becoming more energy efficient with the report finding Australia creates $294 million of GDP for every petajoule of energy consumed, up more than $50 million, or 20 per cent, on a decade earlier.

The ESB advocates for the development of hydrogen as a commercial industry and new source of energy for Australia.

“This recognises the significant opportunities presented by hydrogen. This is why the Morrison Government last year released a strategy to establish and grow an Australian hydrogen industry and to be a major world player by 2030,” Mr Taylor said.

The report also finds total emissions across the National Electricity Market have fallen by 15 per cent since 2005, and are forecast to continue to fall.

The full Health of the National Electricity Market 2019 report is available on the COAG energy council website http://www.coagenergycouncil.gov.au.

Media contact: Minister Taylor’s office: 02 6277 7120