The Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) wholesale markets quarterly report has demonstrated that average wholesale electricity prices for the last quarter were less than half those in the same period last year.
This was due to the crucial impact of coal and gas caps, and more renewables on electricity prices.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the government had acted to provide urgent relief for Australian energy consumers, and is delivering the investment in cheaper, cleaner energy to keep the lights on and push prices down over the medium and long-term.
“Cleaner and cheaper renewable energy in the grid, including on millions of Australian rooftops, has led to drastically lower wholesale energy prices this quarter than the same period last year,” he said.
“And the urgent action taken by the Albanese Government to cap coal and gas prices shielded Australian households and businesses from the worst of the global energy crunch.
“But we’re also ensuring new investment in cleaner cheaper energy, and $1.7 billion for energy upgrades, delivers energy price relief over the medium and long-term too.”
This report highlights the impact of the Federal Government’s coal and gas price caps in limiting the worst impacts of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on power bills for Australian homes and businesses, according to Bowen.
The report also shows the benefit of getting cleaner, cheaper renewable energy into the grid in bringing down prices.
The report shows a major additional factor in the drastic fall in wholesale prices was the huge increase in rooftop solar – which was 41 per cent higher in September than last year. Black coal output was also at its lowest on record.
Increased low-priced capacity offered into the National Electricity Market (NEM) this quarter, particularly from hydro and large-scale solar generators, played a vital role in driving down electricity prices.
The Federal Government is rolling out the Capacity Investment Scheme, which is set to deliver firmed power across the grid to keep the lights on and put downwards pressure on bills as aging plants retire.