Australian Energy Market Operator Set To Lift Suspension As Supply Surges Back

A staged approach


Article heading image for Australian Energy Market Operator Set To Lift Suspension As Supply Surges Back

The nation's energy regulator is set to hand back market control to suppliers in stages from Thursday.

It follows an unprecedented suspension of the east coast energy market last week by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) amid blackout fears and skyrocketing costs.

AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman on Wednesday said provided supply was guaranteed, the market would reset the price from 4am tomorrow.

"We are taking a number of steps operationally and working very closely with generators to make sure that the dysfunctional behaviour doesn't re-occur" he said.

"We know many generators are working hard and closely with governments to improve the confidence of their fuel supply, to ensure that they are able to operate at their desired level of output

"I have said that we will not keep this market suspended for a minute longer than is needed and today, I can confirm that we are activating a staged approach to lift the suspension of the national electricity market," he said.

AEMO will monitor conditions for a further period of at least 24 hours before formally lifting the market suspension.

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen said Australians could take comfort in some key points.

"Firstly, the federal and state governments across the national energy market were working closely together to ensure that the lights stayed on

"Secondly, we have world class energy market operators and energy regulators, ensuring that the consumers’ interests were put first. As a result of all those things, we have avoided blackouts and load shedding over recent weeks, despite very considerable challenges," he said.

"The actions taken by AEMO last week were very significant and very necessary and as I said at the time, had my full support," Bowen said.

"I also said they would stay in place for not a day longer or a day shorter than the chief executive of AEMO judged as necessary

- Chris Bowen

Looking further ahead the plan is to move away from international price shocks. 

"The war in Ukraine and the impact of global commodity prices is an issue, yes. It points to the long-term answer which is a transition to firmed renewables and transmission," AEMO said.

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22 June 2022

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