2022 new year electricity

2022 has been a tumultuous time for Australia’s energy sector. 

The early 2022 weather systems that caused devastating flooding, and damaged and inhibited critical energy infrastructure, led to the onset of Australia’s energy crisis. These impacts were significantly worsened by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the challenges continue to be felt today.

The mid-year election of a Labor Federal Government, as well as a record-level of teal independents, created a more positive discussion of Australia’s energy future. Large-scale investments and policy change, including the passing of the Climate Change Act, continued alongside large-scale storage and renewable energy projects – such as the substantial Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. 

Here, Energy Magazine recaps the top five news stories of the year. 

Our most read story for 2022 was about the former Coalition Federal Government’s pre-election 2022-23 Budget, which featured a doubling-down on its ‘technology not taxes’ decarbonisation messaging.

The Budget included $2.4 billion of new initiatives under the industry, energy and emissions reduction portfolio, which was expected to support 4,800 jobs.

Next, readers were fascinated by the idea that consuming energy during the middle of the day may become free for Victorians, as CitiPower and Powercor trialled time-based price incentives to encourage customers to shift their demand.

The tariff encouraged customers to set timers or use major appliances between 10am and 3pm, when the network charge offered is $0.

Our third most popular story came from AGL Energy, when it withdrew its proposal to demerge into two businesses, resulting in the resignations of AGL Chairman, Peter Botten, and CEO, Graeme Hunt. One industry observer said, “The bloodbath in the boardroom of AGL was years in the making and well overdue.”

AGL Energy deemed that the Demerger Proposal would not receive the necessary 75 per cent stakeholder approval at the scheduled 15 June vote to gain approval, despite the Board maintaining that it would be in the best interest of its shareholders.

As a major event in 2022, the energy and gas crisis was heavily reported on, and readers were keen to engage with various viewpoints on the crisis. Experts called the crisis the result of a perfect storm; weather problems in key energy locations, a history of previous government inaction, and a geopolitical situation in Ukraine which led to a gas shortage and increase in costs.

Continuing the budget theme, readers were also keen to understand how the newly elected Labor Federal Government’s 2022-23 Budget would transform Australia’s energy landscape. The Budget included landmark projects and reforms, affordable renewable energy policies, and investments in large-scale storage and transmission for long-term reliability whilst creating jobs and training in the new industries. 

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