Eutility's news

2020 News articles relating to the energy and telecommunications industries

Calm down and power on

The advice from Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott on day two of The Australian Financial Review’s Energy and Climate Summit was for everyone to calm down and get on with it. As Dr Schott and others told our Summit, the transformation of Australia’s electricity system is accelerating and unstoppable. The challenge is to update the National Electricity Market’s complex rules to retain the benefits of a functioning national energy market – with clear and consistent investment signals – amid political pressure to return to more heavy-handed state-based regimes.

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Vic to host AGL’s next big battery

AGL Energy has flagged its second large battery project within 10 days, advising of plans to install a system of up to 200 megawatts at the site of its Loy Yang coal power station in Victoria to support the growth of weather-dependent renewables.

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Jemena eyes partners for $5b-plus northern gas push

Pipeline owner Jemena has unveiled plans for a potential $5 billion-plus expansion and extension of its grid in Australia's north to bring gas from the remote Northern Territory to the east coast and is on the lookout for partners to join the ambitious project.

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Hydrogen set to flow

Hydrogen produced using renewable energy will start to flow into 700 Adelaide homes within weeks, as South Australia’s ambitious plan to become a “green hydrogen” hub takes another step forward.

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Refiners to compete for diesel storage grants

A $200 million competitive grants program for diesel storage will be launched in the March quarter next year as the government works to boost security of supply in fuels and support struggling local refiners, federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has confirmed.

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Flagship NSW-SA power cable hits debt hurdle

One of the country's flagship electricity interconnector projects intended to help keep the lights on amid soaring wind and solar generation has run into trouble, as backer TransGrid advises it cannot be financed under existing market rules.

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Government flags sensible backflip on gas

A new Morrison government discussion paper on gas reservation has flagged a sensible backflip on further meddling in the east coast gas industry. Domestic manufacturers have blamed Queensland’s massive LNG export expansion for diverting gas offshore and driving up the price for local buyers.

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Old king coal has surrendered to solar, says global power report

Solar power has been declared "the new king of electricity" by the International Energy Agency in its annual energy outlook report, which finds it is already cheaper than power generated by new coal and gas developments in most countries and is providing, "some of the lowest-cost electricity ever seen".

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$28m battery factory proposed for Tomago

Energy Renaissance will build a $28 million battery manufacturing facility on the NSW central coast, paving the way for the company to become Australia’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturer.

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Audrey Zibelman quits AEMO for Alphabet’s X

The Australian Energy Market Operator has lost its chief executive, with Audrey Zibelman quitting the organisation for a leadership role at X, the “moonshot” factory at Google’s parent company Alphabet.

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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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