All state governments will need to further develop their gas resources to ensure lower power prices after a report found Victoria’s gas production will be down by over a third in 2022, the federal government says.
A report by the Australian Energy Market Operator released on Thursday, warns Victoria will not have enough gas to meet winter peak demand in four years.
The closure of the state’s Hazelwood power station also forced up wholesale electricity prices significantly in Victoria and South Australia, the Australian Energy Regulator’s report, also released on Thursday, found.
Average prices in Victoria in 2017 were up 85 per cent on the previous year, and up 32 per cent in South Australia for the same period.
NSW and Queensland were up 63 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively.
Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the findings added weight to the need for Victoria and other states to remove their bans and moratoriums on gas exploration and development, onshore and offshore.
‘All of this underscores the need for state governments, whether they are Liberal or Labor, to further develop their gas resources to ensure lower power prices, more gas for industry, more jobs and more investment,’ he said on Thursday.
Mr Frydenberg called on states and territories to back the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee, at the upcoming Council of Australian Governments ministerial meeting in April.
‘We are getting very positive messages out of the states – both Liberal and Labor states,’ he said.
‘You’ve seen NSW, Tasmania, South Australia all make positive comments, and Victoria was very constructive at the last COAG energy council meeting.
‘And now that we have a new minister in Queensland, we have already engaged with him in a constructive way together with the minister from the ACT.
‘There’s a recognition now that the National Energy Guarantee is the only game in town, and if we miss this opportunity Australia will be poorer for it.’