NSW powerless to stop energy crisis
NSW is relying on cheap coal-fired power from Queensland to keep the lights on and stop an even greater surge in prices.
Power imported to NSW from Queensland has grown by more than 50 per cent in the past year, figures from the Australian Energy Market Operator show.
The news comes after a report released yesterday urged for investment to keep the nation's existing coal-fired stations running as long as possible which will embolden Coalition MPs pushing for government investment in new coal generators.
News Corp Australia can also reveal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will take the report, which also includes a multi-billion dollar plan to turn NSW into a renewables wonderland, to a critical national meeting in three weeks.
Chair of the coalition backbench energy committee, Liberal MP Craig Kelly, said NSW was at risk of running out of power without coal-fired power from Queensland.
"It's an appalling state of affairs that we now have to rely on Queensland to make sure we can keep the lights on," he said.
"It shows how we simply don't have enough baseload power in NSW at the moment and it shows why the urgency that we make a decision to keep Liddell coal-fired power station open. When it closes, we simply will not have enough electricity to keep the market supplied."
In the 12 months to April NSW imported 5507 gigawatt hours of power from Queensland - equal to about an entire month's worth power needed to supply the state.
It was about a 50 per cent more than the previous 12 months when NSW imported 3630 GWh.
Last year the Turnbull Government ramped up pressure on Queensland's state-owned coal power plants to offer cheaper deals.
AEMO said the greater availability of cheap black coal power - below $80/MWh - had increased during that time prompting the increased exports.
Mr Frydenberg said yesterday's AEMO report was an "important step towards ensuring our energy system is based on engineering and economics rather than ideology".
Mr Kelly was concerned the report recommended spending an "absolute fortune" on poles and wires to establish renewable energy zones.
"AEMO is betting billions of dollars that will be paid by consumers on their power bills based on a hunch," he said.
Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler said the report "vindicates Labor's renewable vision for Australia's energy future".