Edge News

 

Our team is dedicated to being across the energy industry. We analyse any changes within the market and evaluate the impact to our clients. Here you will find a range of articles ranging from major industry events through to our detailed views on energy market movements.

 

10 Aug Price of Utility Scale Solar Being Questioned

The engineering company, RCR Tomlinson, went into trading halt on July 30, 2018 and its CEO, Paul Dalgleish, has stepped down. The trading halt is due to an investigation into cost blowouts for unspecified projects, which will hurt the FY18 annual profit. The deputy state secretary of the Queensland and NT Electrical Trades Union, Peter Ong, has stated that RCR has been undercutting other bids by as much as $30 million when bidding for utility scale solar project. Peter Ong's major concern is the use of cheaper labour to try and make up the difference. For the broader market, if RCR have been under-pricing the engineering cost of installing utility scale solar, there...

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10 Aug NEG Moves To Next Stage

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting has ended and the Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will be able to move the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to the next stage.  The next stage will involve taking the legislation to the Coalition party room on Tuesday. If the party room agrees with the draft legislation, there will be a teleconference with COAG and the draft legislation will be released for public consultation.  Minister Frydenberg still believes that legislation will pass in 2018 for a 2020 start. Federal Labor, the two Labor held states (Victoria and Queensland) as well as the Australian Capital Territory are still sceptical.  Particularly, Victoria has concerns that the NEG doesn’t seem...

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07 Aug NEG decision to be placed on hold until next week

According to the Australian Financial Review, the Queensland, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory leaders have stated that they will not sign off on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) at this Fridays COAG Energy Council Meeting. They have provided their support in principle however are waiting until after the NEG has been through the Coalitions party room on Tuesday next week before providing agreement. Premier Palaszczuk claimed that as of yesterday, the states had not seen the legislation that they would be asked to support on Friday. Tuesday next week has been indicated as the earliest that a decision will be made by the Labor state and territory leaders. Another debate is...

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25 Jul Dramatic decline in electricity prices predicted as a result of the NEG

The AFR published an article last night which refers to the final design of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) which was provided to the state and territory leaders on Monday. Within the article is a graph containing forecast NEM wholesale prices (real 2018 $/MWh) from FY18 to FY30, as seen below. The forecast comes from Acil Allen Consulting. Unfortunately, the graph is all that is provided and is therefore impossible for the market to understand what the assumptions are behind the modelling. When releasing forecasts that show dramatic changes in energy prices it should be explained in detail so that stakeholders can understand the key drivers behind the decline. By...

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25 Jul Electricity cost forecasting – is it really that simple?

As the Australian generation fleet transition to lower carbon emissions we are seeing the regulatory framework catching up. The regulatory framework is not the only aspect which is changing. We are experiencing an increasing amount of direct power purchase agreements being written between large users and renewable developers. Economic models are also struggling to catch up. Almost every month a new forecast is published showing that if we just implement the latest proposed change to the market, we will see a return to the good old days of lower electricity prices. Part of this fallacy comes from outdated forecasting models which still look at cost of production as the main input...

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24 Jul Have you exceeded your baseline under the Safeguard Mechanism?

Following the close of the financial year 2018 NGER reporting period, responsible entities will need to determine if they have exceeded their baseline under the Safeguard Mechanism. The safeguard applies to around 140 large businesses that have facilities with direct emissions of more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence (t CO2-e) per year. This covers around half of Australia's emissions. The entity with operational control of a facility will be responsible for meeting safeguard requirements, including that the facility must keep net emissions at or below baseline emissions levels. There are various methods for a facility to meet its safeguard requirement depending on its emissions, how it operated during the financial...

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17 Jul AEMO Release Inaugural System Plan

This morning AEMO released their inaugural Integrated System Plan (ISP). The plan is an evaluation of the likely changes that will be occurring over the next 20 years across the NEM. The ISP builds on the work of AEMO’s annual National Transmission Network Development Plan, and has been developed in response to the COAG Energy Council’s decision in 2017 to adopt the recommendations made in the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, specifically pertaining to the need for a strategic national plan. AEMO have used probabilistic scenario based analysis and system optimisation to project the reliability and security needs of the power system while simultaneously...

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11 Jul ACCC’s recommendations aim to restore electricity affordability

Malcolm Turnbull was in Brisbane today promoting “lower energy prices” on the back of the public release of the ACCC’s “Restoring electricity affordability and Australia’s competitive advantage”. The 398 page report is extensive and contains 56 recommendations across the spectrum of the energy market. Edge highlights a couple of key recommendations below. Recommendation 1 The NEL should be amended to prevent any acquisition or other arrangement (other than investment in new capacity) that would result in a market participant owning, or controlling dispatch of, more than 20 per cent of generation capacity in any NEM region or across the NEM as a whole. The provision should be designed to prevent market participants circumventing...

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05 Jul Gas Market Update

Domestic gas prices on the east coast of Australia have been through a huge transitional period as a result of the introduction of the LNG export market from Curtis Island. Whilst there have been a broad range of changes, one of the key factors increasingly influencing price that domestic consumers pay is the price of oil. Domestic contracts are now being offered at oil linked pricing which effectively means that if the price of oil increases so will the price of your gas (and vice versa). For large gas producers this is nothing new as hedging commodity prices is part of their core business. For consumers however this may be...

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05 Jul STATE OF THE ELECTRICITY MARKET – AUTUMN MARKET OVERVIEW

The electricity market was active throughout autumn and the transition into winter. Spot prices were largely stable as has been the case ever since the Queensland Government directed Stanwell Corporation to adopt strategies to lower wholesale prices and Snowy Hydro Corporation seem to be willing to draw down their dam levels to keep prices in New South Wales below $300.00/MWh for each trading period. Stable spot prices doesn’t mean that the market has been uneventful. In Queensland utility scale solar is expected to grow from only having Barcaldine Solar Farm (25 MW capacity) to more than 2,000 MW installed by the end of 2019. In November 2017 Kidston Solar Farm (50...

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