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Energy Crisis Special: Australia's Spot Market

Australia's energy crisis rolls on, spurred by global supply chain constraints and geopolitical tensions and underpinned by an aging grid. Consumers are plagued by shortages and price spikes, seeking answers to what is being called "the perfect storm". As the Australia Energy Market Operator (AEMO) takes steps to mitigate the crisis by suspending the spot market, energy experts look on and provide insight into what can be done to provide a more long-term solution for Australia. 

Learn more from Lisa Zembrodt, Schneider Electric's Director of Operations, Australia Energy Markets, in the following clips from her interview with ABC News.

Is there anything that Australia should be doing that it is not doing right now?

Unlike the U.S., Australia is falling behind as it concerns being transparent about its energy systems, and that has contributed to the current crisis by making it difficult to foresee the current events on energy volatility.

What are you telling Schneider Electric customers at this time about this current energy crisis?

Making the switch to renewables due to corporate responsibility, customer preference or whatever the reason may be, will be just as effective now to counteract the ever-rising cost of fossil fuels.

If renewables had the capacity to provide 100% of South Australia's power, but only put out 1% of power, is this and argument for firming power like gas to continue?

The expectation that we can run on 24/7 renewables at this point in our energy transition is unrealistic. The transition to renewables takes time and infrastructure like battery storage, and will need to be backed up by firming power until then. However, this is only possible through transparent, consistent and concise policy that will bolster any transition efforts.

Is Australia investing enough in solar, hydro plants, storage and batteries?

According to Lisa, Australia needs to understand that there are two ends of the equation. She says software development and energy education for an average Australian will help to smooth out the divide during the transition to renewables.

What do you think about the impact nuclear energy will have, if adopted?

Lisa acknowledges that it is a complex system, but she also mentions that according to Deloitte Access Economics, the economic impact of an outdated energy system in the face of climate change is about 73 billion dollars a year in lost revenue. It is imperative for the government to take action to decarbonize the energy system, even though it is a long and difficult journey.