15 June 2022

Australians have been warned to expect blackouts across the densely populated east coast on Tuesday, as an energy crisis grips one of the world’s biggest coal and gas producers.

The Australian Energy Market Operator warned there could be significant power shortfalls in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, which are home to more than 13 million people.

It also issued notices for a forecast of reserve shortfalls in the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese blamed the energy crisis on the previous government, which was in power for nearly a decade.

The Australian Energy Market Operator spent much of Tuesday negotiating with generators but an Aus$300/MWh ($208) price cap left many unwilling to pump more power into the system.

It was also exploring the option of forcing companies to generate more electricity, a lever it pulled Monday to avoid blackouts in Queensland.