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Australia needs to rethink the design of its electricity market

Australia’s electricity market is unsustainable. Texas shows us why.

A week ago Texas experienced a bout of severe weather as arctic air reached deep into the state, driving the temperature down to levels that had not been experienced for 30 years. The full human toll is yet to be counted, but 20 deaths have so far been associated with motor accidents, from fires lit for warmth and from carbon-monoxide poisoning after residents used their cars to try to warm their homes.[..]

Australia has the same system

It is difficult to know where to start with a problem as big and complex as this, but reaching for parallels is as good a place as any.

The closest parallel to the market for electricity is probably the market for petrol.

Australian motorists get upset if the price of petrol climbs by 10% in the space of a week. But in Texas wholesale electricity prices climbed by almost 30,000% during the storm and stayed at the US$9000 per megawatt hour ceiling for four days.

 

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