Renewables have outshone gas generators during the first half of 2021, with the fossil fuel continuing to play a diminishing role in Australia’s electricity markets as lower cost wind and solar meet an increasing share of our energy needs.
The Australian carbon spot price continues to break new ground on an almost weekly basis, with Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) spot price assessment growing 5.5% to $21.10/t over the past fortnight. The spot price has now grown 28% year-to-date, from $16.52/t on 1 Jan-21.
The biggest domestic gas production plant on the east coast suffered another disruption to production over the weekend, triggering a fresh spike in prices and increasing nervousness about supply security in the southern states for the rest of the winter.
TransGrid has unveiled plans for a large battery to be built in western Melbourne without any call on government funding, demonstrating a turning point in the rapidly developing market for grid-scale energy storage.
The ACT will become the first jurisdiction to face significant challenges in transitioning away from gas to electricity due to its colder climate, the federal government's renewable energy agency has said.
Japanese industrial giant Marubeni Corp has signed a landmark deal with Australian investor Providence Asset Group for the development of 30 community-based solar farms which will combine battery and hydrogen storage.
Manufacturers are sounding the alarm as east coast gas prices surge to levels not seen since 2016, thanks to cold winter weather and gas having to be diverted to generate electricity after the breakdown of coal-fired generators.
Small electricity retailers have welcomed confirmation that competition regulators will investigate potentially uncompetitive bidding behaviour by gas generators that saw wholesale electricity prices spike and forced an aluminium smelter to cut production.
When it comes to energy market regulation, few proposals elicit the type of reaction seen in response to the suggestion that networks should be allowed to charge customers for the solar power they export into the grid.
EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn coal-fired power station continues to operate at a quarter capacity, with no clear decision yet on how to fend off the threat of flooding at the neighbouring brown coal mine that feeds the plant.
The option of taking a proposal for nuclear power in Australia to the next election has been considered in cabinet-level discussions as pressure grows within the Morrison government to prepare for a nuclear energy industry.
The Australian Energy Regulator has put both traditional electricity and gas suppliers and renewables generators on notice that they are risking heavy penalties for actions that risk undermining the stability of the fast-transitioning energy sector.
Last month’s explosion at Queensland’s Callide power station and gains in gas prices have given a huge boost to depressed wholesale power prices and fuelled suspicions among some industrial users that generators are taking advantage to reap super profits.
The Morrison government has promised an end to ad hoc energy market intervention in a bid to spur investment in on-demand generation amid a plan by pipeline giant Jemena to pursue a renewable gas target to boost the use of fuels including hydrogen.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been asked to investigate potential market gaming in the NSW electricity market over the last week, where prices have repeatedly jumped to the market cap despite no big spikes in demand or supply problems.
Commonwealth-owned energy company Snowy Hydro has defended the federal government’s $600 million investment in a gas-fired power plant, declaring it may prove vital in preventing blackouts and replace capacity lost when AGL closes its Liddell power plant.
AGL Energy has taken the first early steps towards the closure and demolition of the ageing Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley, selecting a key contractor to advise AGL through preparatory works.
In our latest Australian Electricity Outlook (AEO) for the National Electricity Market (NEM), published on Thursday, we present our expectations for LGC and wholesale electricity price development in each region of the NEM over both medium-term (four years) and long-term horizons (20 years).
The pending early closure of the Yallourn power station in 2028 has triggered a warning from the operator of the country’s electricity market of an increased likelihood of blackouts in Victoria and South Australia late this decade unless new on-demand generators are built.
The Morrison government has delivered another federal budget that offers little support for Australia’s rapidly emerging clean energy sector, choosing instead to double down on its ‘gas fired’ agenda and pay major emitters to reduce their emissions.
The budget has allocated $1.6bn of investment towards low-emissions technologies — including funding for hydrogen and energy storage — as Scott Morris¬on tries to reverse global perc¬eptions his government does not take climate change seriously.
Australia’s most successful ethical fund manager has called on the government to accelerate efforts to introduce a labelling scheme for investment products to stamp out the “greenwashing” of investments that aren’t quite what they claim.
AGL Energy’s new chairman Peter Botten says the board was “shocked” by Brett Redman’s decision to resign as chief executive but maintains that a planned demerger is on track while rejecting speculation the board might have grown resistant to a split of the company.
South Australia has set a stunning new benchmark in the electricity market, with its big share of rooftop solar sending the average daytime wholesale price of electricity to below zero in the first quarter.
The ongoing expansion of wind and solar power in Australia’s main grid has delivered stunning price falls in the latest quarter, along with big falls in demand and further reductions in emissions. The absence of any major outages in the summer season meant that the grid was cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.
Carbon dioxide levels in the northern hemisphere were on average 50 per cent higher than before the industrial revolution last month and are expected to set a new peak of 419.5 parts per million this year.
Energy giant AGL has struck a partnership to assess developing huge hybrid power systems to help decarbonise some of Australia’s most emissions-intensive industrial operations such as mine sites, oil and gas facilities and refineries.
When blinds maker Hunter Douglas offered employees the opportunity to buy cheap solar power from the rooftop of its factory in north-western Sydney, it relied on “energy tracing” technology to make it happen.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has been appointed to head a new board to advise the NSW government’s long-term climate policy in his first major political post since leaving Parliament almost three years ago.
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continued to decline at the end of 2020 as an acceleration of the decarbonisation of the electricity sector outweighed a revival of pollution from transport and industry, according to analysis by consultants.
A “nuclear energy road map” should be developed for South Australia, and the State Government should look at building a desalination plant and major water pipeline in the Upper Spencer Gulf, the state’s chief resources lobby says.
AGL Energy will look to win support from investors to create two ASX-listed companies through a demerger after splitting its retail and supply arms to form a green electricity retailer and generation giant dominated by coal power.
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has signed off on new rules designed to prevent wind and solar projects from unilaterally reducing or turning off their output without warning to avoid periods of low or negative wholesale electricity prices.
Australia’s biggest grid problems have traditionally been framed as problems of supply and demand, particularly where there is not enough supply to meet the demand at any one point in time. But that network challenge is about to be turned on its head: the biggest problem in the future will be not enough demand, because most consumers have their own supply in the form of rooftop solar.
The Victorian Andrews government is facing growing criticism for its refusal to disclose the details of a deal struck with energy giant EnergyAustralia around the closure of the Yallourn brown coal power station in the Latrobe Valley.