INDEPENDENT NEWS

Power Summit tackles fraction of the problem

Published: Wed 1 Aug 2001 09:30 AM
Power Summit tackles fraction of the problem
The Government’s second power crisis summit today confirmed measures that will give the country more time until the electricity runs out, but did not discuss the two other factors behind the crisis: high prices and an uncompetitive market, according to the Major Electricity Users Group (MEUG).
Terrence Currie, Chairman of MEUG, said solutions discussed today “dealt with a fraction of the problems”.
“We’ve bought ourselves some time – and that’s imperative, but we need to use the breathing space to quickly move on to address the other factors behind this crisis,” Mr Currie said.
He said businesses would monitor the spot price for evidence that the conservation measures were working.
“Measures agreed today should lower demand and put more energy in the market – the result should be a reduction in price.
“That is critical because although we don’t yet have electricity shortages, the crisis is already hitting the economy through insanely high prices.
“If prices don’t drop, we have further evidence that the market is not working as it should.
“We will be monitoring the spot prices along with demand and lake inflow levels,” Mr Currie said.
Mr Currie said the focus on conservation measures meant there was very limited discussion today of MSC declaring an “undesirable situation” and managing the market directly.
“We expect the idea, and others to address price and market problems, will be on the agenda at the next summit meeting – this coming Monday,” Mr Currie said.
ends

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