AEMO CEO Must Be Sacked For Failing To Ensure Affordable, Secure And Reliable Energy Supply

Written by:
15 December 2023
AEMO CEO Must Be Sacked For Failing To Ensure Affordable, Secure And Reliable Energy Supply - Featured image

“AEMO’s draft Integrated System Plan demonstrates a total abrogation of its core responsibility to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy. It makes clear that CEO Daniel Westerman is no longer fit to lead the organisation and must be sacked,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Released today, the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Draft 2024 Integrated System Plan outlines a naïve and ideologically driven approach to managing the nation’s energy security, which advocates for the early closure of critical affordable and reliable power stations to only be replaced by unreliable renewable energy generation.

“It is remarkable that in the space of little over a month, AEMO can go from warning of ongoing blackouts across the National Energy Market, to suggesting the ‘optimal development path of generation’ is to shut down affordable and reliable power stations early,” said Mr Wild.

“AEMO’s previous damming forecasts make clear that no baseload power station should be allowed to close unless, and until, a like for like baseload replacement, be it coal-fired or nuclear, is ready to come online.”

Over the past 12 months, household electricity and gas prices have surged by 15 per cent, advocating for further early closures of affordable and reliable energy generation will see already record energy bills climb even higher.

“Following the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station in Victoria in 2017, spot prices on the National Energy Market rose by 85 per cent. With energy bills already at record highs, the early closure of further power stations will drive prices even higher,” said Mr Wild.

“Australians cannot trust AEMO to deliver on its core mission of delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy under its current leadership, which seems more interested in ideological pursuits than serving the interests of households and businesses suffering from record energy bills,” said Mr Wild.

IPA research shows that one third of Australia’s prime agricultural land will need to be covered in solar panels and wind turbines to meet energy demand forecasts by 2050, on top of this, AEMO’s plan calls for close to 10,000 km of new and upgraded transmission lines.

“Policymakers cannot escape the reality of the impact wind and solar energy generation will have on Australia’s landscape, particularly on our prime agricultural land, which will have to be sacrificed to satisfy net zero mandates,” said Mr Wild.

“Yet the leadership of AEMO is barracking for such an outcome. It is clear AEMO is suffering from mission creep under its current leadership. Australians need affordable and reliable energy, not a regulator advocating for ideologically based outcomes that will undermine our energy security.”

“The current situation Australia finds itself in with record and rising energy bills, forecast blackouts, and an increasingly unreliable energy grid, are all core features of the policy of net zero emissions. It is all pain for no environmental gain,” said Mr Wild.

To download the IPA’s research click here.

Support the IPA

If you liked what you read, consider supporting the IPA. We are entirely funded by individual supporters like you. You can become an IPA member and/or make a tax-deductible donation.