The Sydney Morning Herald is the oldest newspaper in Australia published daily since 1831.
it's economic editor is quite a good sort , this is what he has to say about the South Australia debacle http://www.rossgittins.com/2017/02/real ... t-gas.html
"But the main thing he – and the gas industry – desperately wants to stop us noticing is that the leap in gas prices is a consequence of long-standing federal government policy and has nothing to do with the states' reluctance to let the gas producers frack all over their farmlands.
The balance of supply and demand for natural gas on our eastern seaboard was fine – and would still be today, were it not for the feds' earlier decision to allow foreign investors to build (too many) liquefaction plants near Gladstone in Queensland.
As the feds understood full well, once you can liquefy natural gas you can ship it overseas. And once you do that you've taken the relatively tiny, closed eastern Australian gas market and opened it up to the huge East Asian gas market, where prices are much higher.
"Guess what? South Australia has a new and big gas-fired generator at Pelican Point, near Adelaide, but it's been mothballed.
Why? Because the operator had a long-term contract for the supply of gas at a price set at the pre-export-parity level, and decided it was more lucrative to sell the gas into the East Asian market.
Last week Turnbull had the effrontery to argue that now gas-fired power had become uneconomic, we needed to fill the gap by subsidising new-generation "clean" coal-fired power stations.
Small problem. They're hugely expensive, only a bit less emissions-intensive than existing coal-fired stations, can't easily be turned on and off, and would supposedly still be operating 60 years later.
If there's a case for subsidising any fossil fuel-powered generators the obvious candidate is the gas-fired plants the feds' export-parity pricing policy has rendered uneconomic."