National Farmers' Federation

NFF seeks action on high electricity prices

Power prices are still high, and the trend suggests that the extension of the political uncertainty around energy policy is not helping to reduce them.
The NFF has been embedded in the energy debate focusing on electricity prices for some time, through which it seeks to address the so called energy trilemma of affordability, reliability and sustainability (moving to lower emissions).
National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson said the most critical action for the moment is to do something about the high prices.
“The NFF welcomes what appears to be a new outbreak of bipartisanship on implementing measures to force prices down.”
Recommendations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) include setting a transparent benchmark price and providing funding certainty through medium term underwriting are now a welcome focus.
“A continued focus on reliability is an important complementary measure to price, and a key requirement for business,” Ms Simson said.
“In Australia energy costs make up nine per cent of the total cost of agricultural production and in the last five years energy costs have increased by up to 100 per cent.
“Continued investment in renewable technologies is welcome and the NFF notes that these need to be integrated into rural communities in an integrated and sensible manner.”
Ms Simson said caution is necessary to ensure that transition to renewables is accompanied by the necessary transmission infrastructure and cost effective dispatchability options such as pumped hydro, batteries and/or gas, which are important complementary measures to price reduction.
The COAG Energy Ministers are scheduled to meet later this month and they should focus on price and reliability in the first instance. The meeting should also give further consideration to the pathway towards implementing the amended National Energy Law, which has been consulted on but not yet actioned.

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