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NSW minister given extraordinary powers to intervene in energy crisis

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NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean will be able to force coal companies to supply power generators with fuel under emergency powers given due to the east coast energy crisis.

Late on Thursday, a government source confirmed reports Kean met with the Governor to seek the extraordinary powers.

The move was understood to have been made due to the tight supply and demand conditions in the market.

READ MORE: What's going on with Australia's energy supply and will there be blackouts?

Earlier on Thursday, the Australian Energy Market Operator, which on Wednesday took the unprecedented step of suspending the market to stave off the threat of blackouts, said conditions had improved across the east coast states.

But it stressed challenges remained and said it was too early to say when the market would return to normal. There are still widespread potential energy shortfall warnings for Friday.

NSW residents had been urged to conserve power when safe to do so on Thursday, even as federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said he was confident blackouts would be avoided.

"Everybody is working all day to avoid load shedding this evening. We are confident we can avoid blackouts," he said.

"We will work hard to avoid load shedding."

He backed AEMO's efforts to tackle the crisis and said the situation made action on climate change even more vital.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said renewables remained the long-term solution, lambasting previous governments for putting politics ahead of policy.

"The cheapest form of new energy is clean energy, that has been where investment is going but it hasn't been feeding into the grid because the transmission system isn't a 21st century one," he said.

"Meanwhile, the ageing coal-fired power stations have been more susceptible to outages and disruption because they are old. We know that is the case."

Bowen and Albanese met with industry leaders in an attempt to solve the crisis, ahead of a national cabinet meeting with all state and territory premiers on Friday.

https://twitter.com/AlboMP/status/1537368224890621952



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