Family First's long-standing warnings that Australia's energy policy is on the wrong track have been validated by today's alarming news of looming summer blackouts.

Electricity users in NSW and Victoria face a heightened risk of blackouts during peak demand this summer.

The Australian newspaper reports today that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has been forced to bid for emergency supplies due to delays in new transmission lines and renewables projects, highlighting the urgent need for a comprehensive economic and engineering analysis of the current energy transition plans.

Family First is exasperated that a modern nation like Australia, once a global leader in energy production, could find itself on the brink of such an energy crisis.

The new energy market update reveals deteriorating reliability gaps in NSW and Victoria, expected to worsen through the decade, particularly in South Australia.

This scenario underscores the need for a realistic assessment of Australia’s energy transition plans, something Family First has been calling for for years.

The current trajectory, driven by ambitious renewable energy targets, is fraught with danger for the economy and reliability of supply.

As Graham Lloyd noted in The Australian, the renewable energy transition is a story of promises struggling to become reality.

Battery, wind, and solar projects are delayed, and the electricity grid is not designed for the increasing demands placed upon it, he says in an article aptly titled “Powering the nation on wing and a prayer”.

Adding to this crisis is the Coalition's support for net zero and “climate action”. Notably, Peter Dutton has committed the Coalition to net zero by 2050, an ambition widely regarded by economists and engineers as foolish and futile.

While Labor has recklessly ramped up the rush to renewables, it is also worth noting that it was the Howard Government that introduced subsidies for renewables, setting the stage for the current policy trajectory.

While still supporting net zero, Peter Dutton in his budget reply speech last week, emphasised reliable and affordable energy as a key political battleground.

He accused Labor of betraying the public with unfulfilled promises of reducing power bills by $275 a year by 2025.

Dutton warned that rising power prices could undermine Labor’s new Future Made in Australia agenda, potentially shutting down manufacturers or driving them offshore. He criticised the reliance on "weather-dependent energy," echoing Family First’s concerns.

AEMO's chief executive, Daniel Westerman, stated, “Project development and commissioning delays are impacting reliability throughout the horizon”.

This assessment aligns with Family First’s call for a halt to current net zero policies until a proper analysis is conducted.

The electricity network, as Lloyd described, is increasingly held together with "hopes, tissue paper, and spit," requiring many billions of dollars in further investment and government subsidies.

NSW faces a reliability gap of over 1000 megawatts from 2025-26, widening to over 3000MW by 2032-33, emphasising the difficulty of more than doubling renewable capacity to achieve Labor’s target of 82% by 2030, while keeping household bills in check during a cost-of-living crisis.

The situation has become so critical that AEMO will call for emergency power supplies to minimize blackout risks during peak demand.

With delays in transmission and generation projects, AEMO has highlighted the urgency for timely delivery of new projects to ensure grid reliability.

Family First calls on both sides of politics to abandon net zero policies and conduct a thorough economic and engineering analysis of the energy transition. It is essential to ensure that Australia’s future energy plans are realistic, reliable, and do not place undue financial burdens on households and businesses.

It is time for a reset in the energy and climate debate, prioritising practical solutions over ideology.