As you are no doubt aware, one of the big economic challenges facing Australia at the moment is the high cost of energy. An important aspect of the debate around the cost of energy is the future of the National Electricity Market (NEM). This is highly contentious. For instance, UQ Professor John Quiggin has suggested the NEM has failed and we should consider re-nationalisation (see his post Electricity Re-nationalisation). Others are less pessimistic, but are concerned about the lack of a clear long-term policy framework, and the implications for reliability and financial viability of greater renewable energy capacity. At the same, there appears to be a huge opportunity to manage energy consumption and reduce power bills through demand side management or “behind the meter” measures. Finally, throw in allegations of price gouging in the east coast gas market, and we have a large number of weighty issues for economists to discuss.
So it is timely that the Economic Society of Australia (Qld), of which I am the Secretary, has arranged a lunchtime panel discussion for Thursday 9 November in Brisbane CBD on:
The National Electricity Market: Current Challenges and its Future
Panel members will include Tim Nelson, AGL Chief Economist, and UQ Professor Flavio Menezes, currently Deputy Chair of the Queensland Competition Authority. The Chair of proceedings on the day will be Euan Morton, Principal of Synergies Economic Consulting.
I am particularly looking forward to hearing from AGL’s Tim Nelson. You will recall AGL has been in the news a lot lately regarding the Liddell Power Station. In the lead up to the panel discussion, you may be interested in some of Tim’s recent output, including:
Presentation at the Liddell power station
Some thoughts about energy pricing
At $25 for ESA Qld members and $40 for non-members, this panel discussion is incredible value. The room at McCullough Robertson can accommodate 90 people only, so I encourage you to book early.
Tim Nelson, AGL’s Chief Economist