AEMO continues to suspend energy trading; VIC, NSW invests in kindergartens; ASX; Federal Reserve

Energy Minister Chris Bowen said aging coal-fired power stations are at the heart of the current energy crisis and Australians are now paying the price for years of inaction.

“The system creaks,” Bowen said Today this morning.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said he supports AEMO’s suspension of the electricity market.Credit:Janie Barrett

“There are numerous coal-fired plant outages, which are putting enormous pressure on the system in New South Wales.

“Some are expected and some unexpected – unexpected outages in coal-fired power plants, which is inevitable as coal-fired fire stations age. And we haven’t seen the investment in renewables and storage – far from the amount we need.

“We get to work. I met with state energy ministers to develop an integrated plan – this saw Labour, Liberals and Greens [representatives] working together to get the investment we need.

Bowen said he was confident the country could avoid any blackouts caused by the crisis.

“When the markets are tight, there will be different approaches,” Bowen said.

“NSW is the tightest state today, and we are all working to avoid any load shedding, if possible tonight; tonight is where the crunch comes in.

“Compared to gas, I know gas [gets] ba lot of attention here. Very well[ly]. We have said that we will examine the possibility of reforming the powers available to the Commonwealth to manage the gas system.

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“The so-called trigger is ineffective for a situation like this. It wouldn’t work.

“We have to look at the powers we have. At the moment, we don’t have the credentials. We spoke with gas companies.

“I want to stress this point: At its core, it is a problem caused by coal-fired power plant shutdowns and outages, some scheduled maintenance, some maintenance delays due to COVID, and some older equipment. We need new investment. That’s what our policies do and that’s what we will deliver.

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