Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he would urgently call the chief executives of the east gas companies together to address the threat to customers.
Addressing delegates at The Australian Financial Review Summit in Sydney yesterday, Mr Turnbull said the report released this week by the Australian Energy Market Operator was concerning.
AEMO’s 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) report, revealed a projected decline in gas production could result in a shortfall of gas-powered electricity generation from as early as next year.
AEMO has concluded that additional production will be required to meet the needs for GPG and residential, commercial and industrial gas consumers.
“At a time when LNG export is dominating demand and supply of gas in eastern states, strategic national planning of gas development has never been more critical for maintaining domestic energy supply adequacy across both gas and electricity sectors,” AEMO chief operating officer Mike Cleary said.
“The 2017 GSOO highlights the increasing interdependencies between gas and electricity, and supply and demand, and the need for the Australian energy industry to have a holistic ‘single energy view’ to ensure long-term planning is carried out in the interests of consumers.”
The PM also criticised state governments for hampering onshore gas exploration and development.
“We are facing an energy crisis in Australia because of these restrictions on gas,” he said.
“We again call on the states, to lift their restrictions on gas exploration and development.”
He said there needed to be “mature debate” about the country’s energy security and affordability and its place in the economy.
“We must think carefully about how we manage our electricity system, recognising the rapid changes in generation, storage and distribution,” he said.