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Power for Profit Versus Power for People

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Ned K.

The difficulties for the regional economy of South Australia regarding reliability of electricity have been the subject of considerable media space and parliamentary blame games. 

Renewable energy, coal, gas, nuclear have all been mentioned or championed by one group or another. For the people there is not only unreliability of power supply but escalating cost of it. Same applies for small business and even large corporations looking for abundant, priority supply are making noises about relocation due to high electricity power costs.

The fundamental cause of the problem is that the essential service of electricity supply and cost is determined by the big corporations who own and run it. Profit is their prime objective, not providing an essential service.

This is admitted by France’s Engie Corporation who owns the gas-fired power plant at Pelican Point in the north western suburbs of Adelaide. On Friday 17 February the company issued a statement that said, "There is no commercial rationale to operate the second 240MW capacity Pelican Point unit in the current market environment in SA for a small number of high demand days across the year."

So "commercial rationale" (profit making) overrides the needs of the people in time of greatest need when there are extreme weather events.

This says it all. Corporations in the power industry will only provide power when it is profitable to do so, not when people need it.
An immediate demand on the SA Government should be to take over the power station at Pelican Point. 

Can't be done within capitalism? Under their own laws it most likely can be done as a previous Premier Tom Playford in the 1940s took over a private electricity company and formed the Electricity Trust of SA (ETSA).

People in the street are talking about this and wondering why, if a conservative Liberal Government could do this, can't a Labor Government whom many (although a declining number) still see as being more for the "little person".

The Premier has announced that the SA Government is planning to "intervene" in the electricity market to secure SA's power supply in the short and longer term.

People will be watching this one closely with a state election one year away.


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