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Australia’s electricity market is not agile and innovative enough to keep up

The Conversation

General view of the Bayswater power station, near Muswellbrook in the Hunter region of NSW, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING

On the early evening of Wednesday, February 8, electricity supply to some 90,000 households and businesses in South Australia was cut off for up to an hour.

Two days later, all electricity consumers in New South Wales were warned the same could happen to them. It didn’t, but apparently only because supply was cut to the Tomago aluminium smelter instead. In Queensland, it was suggested consumers might also be at risk over the two following days, even though it was a weekend, and again on Monday, February 13. What is going on?

The first point to note is that these were all very hot days. This meant that electricity demand for air conditioning and refrigeration was very high.

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