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Decreasing electricity usage causing problems in Queensland

An increase in the uptake of solar panels amongst homeowners and a decrease in business demand due to low business confidence are two of the factors which have purportedly led to a massive oversupply of electricity in Queensland.

An article published by the Herald Sun earlier today (September 10) has claimed that the Sunshine State is currently generating such a massive surplus of energy that it could potentially power the city of Brisbane for a year.

However a representative from Energex told the Herald that this is unlikely to lead to a decrease in electricity prices, as networks are now struggling to receive the amount of energy being returned to the grid by solar panels.

Solar panels are also unable to generate electricity during peak demand hours, namely in the evening when the sun goes down.

Meanwhile the decrease in overall electricity demand has also led to rumours of staff cuts at two major Queensland electricity suppliers.

ABC news is reporting that both Energex and Ergon Energy have contacted employees in order to offer voluntary redundancies, in an attempt to reduce costs in response to decreasing power usage.

However the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is arguing that cutting staff could drastically affect the reliability of the energy supply, potentially leading to massive power failure.

"Summer storms 2004 - people went four and five days without power in the CBD of Brisbane and that's the sort of scenario you're looking at again," said ETU spokesman Peter Simpson, as reported in an ABC News article posted earlier today.

"If things not maintained, the power goes off - simple as that."