Energy minister taken advantage of: Dutton
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has criticised the actions of the new energy minister, saying Chris Bowen has been taken advantage of by big energy companies.
But despite previously saying the necessary legislation was put in place by the previous coalition government to handle energy crises, Mr Dutton refused to answer what the Liberals would have done different to Labor.
"I'm happy to see Mr Bowen exercise the powers that he's got, the exact same powers as (former energy minister) Angus Taylor,' the Opposition leader said.
"It's not just about the legislative powers, it's about what they've got in terms of their relationships and Mr Bowen's first instinct was not to engage with the gas companies.
"The gas companies and others, I think, have played him like a fool."
Mr Dutton said the onus fell on the energy minister to improve reliability, noting power prices decreased during the coalition's tenure in government but rose when Labor was last in power.
"Chris Bowen now has created this situation where you've got uncertainty about supply. Pensioners have been told over winter to prepare for blackouts or hospitals being told to not keep all of their electricity running.
"That's a dire situation and I just don't think Chris Bowen has a handle on it."
While international circumstances such as the war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves through global energy markets, Labor has laid part of the blame of the current energy shortfall at the feet of the coalition, saying a decade of underinvestment in renewables has led to failures in the grid.
But the prime minister remains confident energy prices will be able to be lowered following investment in new energy sources.
"The problem at the moment is that renewables can't fit into the grid and all of the new energy investment, that's where it's headed, towards renewables, because it's the cheapest form," Mr Albanese told the ABC's 7.30 program.
"We need to get it right. I'm confident that we can, and in the medium term start to see real improvements, start to see that lowering of energy prices."
While the Australian Energy Market Operator began lifting parts of its unprecedented energy market suspension on Thursday, it said it was still evaluating how the system was functioning in the wake of the changes.
"AEMO continues to monitor and determine if it is appropriate to lift the market suspension," the market operator said.
The first stage of the suspension being lifted was to let the market set prices.
The suspension of the national energy market was the first time such measures were enacted in the wake of the crisis gripping the sector.
While the prime minister indicated there was no easy fix to the energy crisis, there were ways of setting up the sector for future success.
"The good news is that the path forward has been laid out," he said.
"The Australian Energy Market Operator, with its integrated systems plan, outlined how you fix transmission."