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People power will shape Australia's energy market in 2018

This year has been one of the most volatile in Australia’s energy history.

It has been punctuated by some of the highest electricity prices in the world, a future gas shortage, power station closures, fears of a repeat of South Australia’s total state blackout, and a half-built energy policy as a breakwater against an under strain power grid’s failure.

The National Electricity Market – a series of interconnecting energy assets that powers the east coast – is undergoing an enormous transformation, as more renewable energy comes in and older coal-fired generation is shut down.

While the NEM was pushed to its limits in February, when a heatwave hit the coast and stressed out the entire system, AGL’s announcement that it would close the NSW Liddell coal-fired power plant was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made the Turnbull government realise a change was needed immediately. It came after more than a decade of inaction at the federal level from successive governments.

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