How to pay for the air-conditioning you love
Australia’s electricity sector is the cheapest in the world, but its costs are rising rapidly.
Photo: Andrew Meares The price of electricity in Australia has fallen by $2.4 billion over the past three years, while the cost of new gas and coal plants has risen by more than $2 billion.
The Coalition government has promised to double the price of gas and nuclear energy by 2020.
But while gas prices have fallen in recent months, coal prices have been rising.
The coal industry has been hit hard by the coal mining industry’s slump in recent years, with coal production plunging from 4.8 million tonnes in 2016 to 2.5 million tonnes this year.
Photo/John Rau: Mark Kolbe Coal prices have not been so much a reflection of the economy as the way they are managed by the mining industry.
Coal producers, including Murray Energy and Origin Energy, are not allowed to sell coal at a profit for more than a few years, as a condition of being granted licences to mine coal in the state.
The state’s power sector is also not allowed a profit margin.