The map that shows why your power bills are soaring across Australia


EXCLUSIVE: The map that shows why your energy bills are soaring with SEVEN coal power stations on Australia’s east coast all on the blink – just when they’re needed the most

  • A quarter of Australia’s electricity power supply is offline as east coast shivers 
  •  Labor has now begged industry bosses to fire up all coal-fuelled power stations
  • Wholesale power prices soared by a massive 141 per cent in the year to March 
  • Fuel crisis sparked by Ukraine war has upended international climate policies
  • Treasurer Jim Chalmers blamed the previous government’s energy policies 
  • There has been a 55 percent increase in gas in the National Electricity Market 

Australia’s skyrocketing energy prices are being fueled by an extraordinary meltdown of coal-fired power stations across the east coast.

For the first time, Daily Mail Australia can reveal the full extent of problems plaguing coal fired power stations from Callide in central Queensland to Loy Yang at the bottom of Victoria.

Outages at seven coal power stations are causing chaos to energy grids across the country – and sending electricity bills through the roof .

The revelation comes a little over a day after Labor resources minister Madeleine King called on industry chiefs to crank up their offline coal power stations to meet soaring demand as the east coast shivers through a cold snap.

Perfect storm of pain: The east coast of Australia is riddled with power station problems

Perfect storm of pain: The east coast of Australia is riddled with power station problems 

At least a quarter of Australia's coal-fired electricity production is currently offline while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter amid soaring price rises

At least a quarter of Australia’s coal-fired electricity production is currently offline while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter amid soaring price rises

In the year to March, wholesale electricity prices soared by 141 per cent, prompting one power company boss to urge his 70,000 customers to switch provider.

Financial comparison group Finder is predicting electricity prices to climb by up to 100 per cent from July 1, effectively doubling the price.

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association acting chief executive Damian Dwyer told Daily Mail Australia natural gas was central to Australia’s cleaner energy future. 

‘We are doing everything we can to look after customers and fill the energy void left by the failure of coal-fired power generators in particular,’ he said. 

‘Our members have already acted to ensure gas flows to where it is needed using the mechanisms put in place to help us do so. ‘

A major incident at Callide in Queensland combined with another serious incident in Victoria have been compounded by various outages in New South Wales.   

‘The problems we have seen with the energy system highlight how natural gas is central to Australia’s cleaner energy future, replacing coal as a lower emissions fuel and stabilizing renewables when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,’ Mr Dwyer said. 

‘There has been a 55 per cent increase in gas in the National Electricity Market as more than 800MW of coal and renewables have dropped out of the system.’

Queensland's Callide coal power station is offline after an explosion at the plant

Queensland’s Callide coal power station is offline after an explosion at the plant

Labor has begged industry bosses to fire up all their coal-fuelled power stations at full capacity to ease the national energy crisis in a dramatic policy u-turn

Labor has begged industry bosses to fire up all their coal-fuelled power stations at full capacity to ease the national energy crisis in a dramatic policy u-turn

In his first media conference as treasurer, Jim Chalmers warned of a ‘perfect storm’ for energy price hikes. 

‘This perfect storm of energy price spikes is doing enormous damage to our employers, to our households and to our national economy,’ he said last week.

 On Tuesday,  Labor demanded the nation’s coal power stations be brought back into service as soon as possible.

At least a quarter of Australia’s coal-fired electricity production is currently offline while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter amid soaring price rises. 

The global fuel crisis has already forced some nations to abandon their climate change commitments to meet power demands as consumer prices soar.

Germany has now started passing laws to prevent coal power stations destined for the scrapheap from being axed, ordering them to be kept on standby instead.

Loy Yang brown coal power station in Victoria has suffered a major incident

Loy Yang brown coal power station in Victoria has suffered a major incident 

Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic also plan to burn more coal as a temporary measure while they reduce reliance on Russian gas after its invasion of Ukraine, and the UK is drilling for more gas in the North Sea.  

AGL currently has three coal power stations in NSW and Victoria either offline or on reduced capacity due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance issues. 

Origin’s Eraring power station, the largest  in NSW, has also been crippled by coal production cutbacks at its neighbouring conveyor belt-connected coalmine. 

It’s had to buy coal on the open market as prices surge because of the global crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine, which forces electricity prices up further. 

The maintenance work at affected power stations is not expected to be completed until July at the earliest while Callide is out until December, but Labor is demanding the work is now fast-tracked.

Just days after promising 'real action on climate change', Labor's resources minister Madeleine King, seen here with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on Tuesday demanded the nation's coal power stations are all brought back into service as soon as possible

Just days after promising ‘real action on climate change’, Labor’s resources minister Madeleine King, seen here with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on Tuesday demanded the nation’s coal power stations are all brought back into service as soon as possible

Opposition climate change spokesman Ted O’Brien said the Albanese government needed to pull the ‘gas trigger’ which allows exports to be diverted to domestic supply.

But Mr Bowen has argued it is a complex process, and action taken now would not have an effect before January.

He blamed the Coalition for leaving ‘Australia ill-prepared and our energy markets ill-prepared for the challenges we face today in relation to gas and energy supply.’

He added: ‘The previous government didn’t do the work necessary to increase renewables or storage.

‘If we had more storage and renewables and better transmission, we would be much better placed to deal with the current challenges.

‘That is exactly what our powering Australia plan seeks to implement but it will take some time to implement.

‘As I have said, you don’t overturn nine years of dysfunction, denial and delay overnight. But action is necessary.’

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