National Electricity Market fails SA again

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Greens will move in SA Parliament next week to expand the current upper house inquiry into the September state-wide power blackout to include examination of the National Electricity Market and its operator, AEMO, according to Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“Shock revelations that last night’s deliberate power “load shedding” was avoidable, shows that the market and its regulators are failing South Australia.

“If it is true that there was an idle power station that could have been turned on, but wasn’t, this shows that free market ideology is trumping the right of South Australians to reliable energy.  The victims are real people, not just postcodes chosen for the off-switch.

“Last year, the Legislative Council established a Parliamentary select committee to look at the September state-wide blackout.  Last night’s partial blackout should also be examined to help work out how to better protect energy reliability in South Australia.

“I will move to expand the inquiry’s terms of reference on Tuesday next week before the next scheduled meeting on Friday 17th Feb.  One of our first witnesses should be AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) to explain why they ordered the lights turned off for 40,000 SA households.

“The Greens will also support legislative moves for the Government to intervene in the electricity market in the interests of our State.  Markets are a tool for achieving social objectives, they aren’t some God-like entity to be obeyed at any cost.  If the market is failing, we need to change it.  That’s what South Australians expect,” concluded Mark Parnell.