Is Australia Heading into An Energy Crisis?

Is Australia really heading toward an energy crisis? And if so, how will it affect your business operations?

Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) is the longest geographically connected power system in the world. It supplies energy to all states and territories of eastern and southern Australia. We’re also a resource-dense land with vast energy sources. So, we should always have access to reliable and affordable electricity, right?

But, if Adelaide’s blackout taught us anything, it’s that our electricity network is all but secure. How did it get to this?

From Power Rich to Power Poor

Australia is the second largest exporter of LNG (behind Qatar) and one of the highest carbon emitters per capita based on our reliance on coal-fired power stations to supply our local market.

We’re an energy rich country – yet, the threat of frequently-occurring blackouts and soaring prices is real. There are many contributing factors – two of the bigger issues are that we export most of our gas production and we’re closing down coal-fired power stations in a move to cleaner, more renewable energy.

The problem is, we don’t yet have the infrastructure in place to pick up the slack for these downfalls. Which means we’re losing access to cheap and reliable energy.

What This Means for Business

Energy instability and higher energy prices are likely, and they’ll hit industrial and commercial businesses hard. Paul O’Malley, chief executive of BlueScope Steel, earlier this year said energy costs in the US were up to 10 times lower than what the ­company paid in Australia. That’s now.

Businesses are also charged a renewable energy initiatives fee with their electricity bill. This is to compensate for government-funded domestic and commercial initiatives that encourage private investment in renewable energy projects (your LREC and SRES charges). These schemes aim to reduce emissions in the energy sector with the additional generation of cleaner electricity locally.

How You Can Minimise the Blow

There’s no mistaking we’re at a critical point.

So, with the fast pace of technology improving our access to reliable, alternative energy solutions (like battery power, solar, wind etc) – now’s the right time to explore what options are available for your business.

It is possible to move towards energy independence – where your reliance on the national electricity grid is significantly reduced (and in future, potentially non-existent). Which means you’ll mitigate your exposure to any future energy crisis, higher prices, and unreliable power.

If you’re interested in exploring whether renewable energy (like solar) is an option for your business, get in touch. We’ll talk you through your current and future needs and how you might be able to tap into the LREC or SRES funding to implement your own renewable energy project.