SA government in energy market crisis talks
Source: AFR, 14 Dec 2015
The South Australian government is considering intervening in the National Electricity Market after its commitment to renewable energy has generated sharp spikes in power prices that threaten its economic development strategy.
South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis called a crisis meeting of energy users and suppliers today to deal with sharp rises and falls in wholesale electricity prices that threaten the redevelopment of a Port Pirie lead and zinc smelter to make metals for solar panels and mobile phones, even with a $291 million government subsidy.
The volatility in wholesale prices – caused mostly by the state's reliance on wind power and the ability of coal and gas power stations to charge high prices when the wind drops – is creating havoc for industry in the state, which is one of the country's most economically depressed.
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