Eutility's news

2020 News articles relating to the energy and telecommunications industries

Rules to protect electricity supply as renewables undercut coal

Electricity retailers face a government-imposed reliability trigger being made permanent and a new payment mechanism introduced to ensure enough power supplies are in place before coal plants shut down, amid fears investors may back away from committing to fund new capacity.

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Tensions mount with electricity market

Tensions have erupted between the Morrison government and some of the nation’s biggest energy players, after the threat of Commonwealth intervention in the electricity market sparked fresh investor concern over rising sovereign risk amid accusations from Canberra that big power companies had championed high prices.

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AGL buys Amaysim energy for $115m

Second-tier electricity retailers face a fight to survive amid a tough regulatory clampdown and bad debts from the COVID-19 pandemic, Amaysim said after selling its energy unit to power giant AGL Energy for $115m.

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Renewables investors run scared

Investment in renewable energy projects collapsed to its lowest in more than three years in the June quarter and almost halved from earlier in the year as grid connection delays, transmission bottlenecks and unpredictable policy took a toll.

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Gas producers baulk at price demands

There are good reasons why suppliers cannot offer long-term natural gas contracts at spot prices which have been temporarily depressed by a market surplus, Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher says.

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Coal power plants face early retirement in 20-year grid revamp

Australia’s coal power plants could face early retirement under a 20-year plan to reshape the electricity grid, as the market operator bets on a tripling in rooftop solar and major transmission investment, while emergency government intervention may be needed to avoid a looming gas shortfall.

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EnergyAustralia jumps over hedge, and gets ready to step on the gas

EnergyAustralia, one of the big three energy “gentailers” in Australia, says its profits in the first half of 2020 fell around 20 per cent because of the fall in wholesale prices and the impact of Covid-19, but it is looking to invest up to 1,000MW of new gas fired generation as part of its efforts to support the transition to renewables.

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Locals denied cheap gas in ‘broken market’: Incitec

Record low international gas prices aren’t on offer to major Australian industrial users in new contract negotiations with east coast gas producers, according to Incitec Pivot boss Jeanne Johns, putting jobs at risk and raising fresh threats to Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus.

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AEMO warns of risks of delay on transmission

When to press the button on billions of dollars of potential power transmission lines over the next few years will hinge on whether coal power plants close early, smelters stay open and on state policies such as Tasmania's renewable energy target.

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Department ‘contradicted Santos over cheaper gas’

A fresh spat has broken out over Santos’s promise that gas prices will fall should its $3.6bn Narrabri coal-seam gas project in NSW proceed, with claims the state’s Planning Department contradicted the energy producer by saying the development would not reduce tariffs.

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Geelong set to jump aboard for gas future: Viva

Viva Energy chairman Robert Hill has told shareholders the plan to redevelop the Geelong refinery site into a hub for lower-carbon energy supply – starting with natural gas – will help both secure the future of the site and protect profits against volatile refining margins that are outside its control.

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Renewables surge, brown coal dips in NEM shake-up

Renewable power has surged to provide a quarter of Australia's electricity needs over the past year, eating into the dominant market share of black coal power plants, data from the Open National Electricity Market project shows.

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High gas prices for long-term east coast contracts persist

Lower long-term oil and gas prices – predicted by global majors BP and Shell – should be good news for domestic gas pricing, but major gas suppliers and retailers are still failing to pass on cheaper rates, say big chemicals companies Incitec Pivot and Qenos.

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Nuclear in mix for miners on emissions

Small nuclear reactors, advanced battery technology and more gas-fired power generation must be part of the government’s blueprint to lower emissions, according to the nation’s largest miners and resources companies.

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$4 gas price ‘ignores realities’, says Exxon head

ExxonMobil's most senior representative in Australia has labelled the setting of a $4 a gigajoule price target by the COVID-19 commission's manufacturing taskforce as "dangerous", saying it ignores the realities of costs of production.

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AEMO pushes for minimum standards for solar, battery storage and EVs

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has begun its push for new national minimum technical standards for distributed energy systems which would apply to all new installations of rooftop solar systems, household and business battery system, and electric vehicles delivering power to the grid.

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Energy reform agenda needs to be recharged

Australia's energy policymakers and regulators already had a huge job on their hands to draw up and implement reforms to deliver a cheaper, fairer and lower-emissions power sector for consumers. COVID-19 has turned that into an even bigger challenge.

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Call to fire up gas to drive recovery

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has raised the pressure on state governments to unlock more gas to complement the growth of renewables, as new figures show wind, solar and hydro generation has increased by 54 per cent since 2015.

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‘Big stick’ electricity guidelines released

The competition watchdog has released its framework to enforce new “big stick” powers from next month, including taking companies to court or forcing them to divest assets, in a crackdown on energy companies gouging electricity bills.

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