Electricity

19 Dec Update from COAG Energy Council meeting

The COAG Energy Council met today for their 21st meeting. On the agenda was AEMO addressing their work in preparing the grid for summer, bringing down electricity costs and ensuring long term grid reliability and security. AEMO highlighted the priority of work being undertaken to ensure that there is enough dispatchable generation in the NEM and integration of renewable and distributed energy resources. The Ministers agreed to a work program for the ESB to develop advice on a long term, fit for purpose market framework to support reliability that could apply from the mid-2020s. There was very little detail on this framework, however Edge will look to discover more. Reliability Ministers agreed...

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23 Nov A lesson from RCR Tomlinson: corporate PPA’s and the sharing of risk

RCR Tomlinson entering voluntary administration this week has been a major eye-opener in the renewable energy world. The engineering firm had shown signs of stress earlier in the year, particularly when it was forced to record a $57 million write-down on the value of it’s Daydream and Hayman solar farms in Queensland. Following this, the company successfully went to market and raised an additional $100 million in capital. Now after incurring liquidated damages as a result of running late on solar projects, directors had no choice but to put the company into administration. In the renewable energy space, these events particularly emphasise the potential risk of entering into a PPA with...

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14 Nov STATE OF THE ELECTRICITY MARKET – WINTER MARKET OVERVIEW

The electricity spot prices were generally higher for the winter period (June to August) than the preceding three months. The largest contributing factors were higher gas prices and increased demand for most of the regions. This excludes Tasmania where average prices fell from $80.26/MWh in autumn to $47.55/MWh in winter. Demand was still higher in the Tasmanian region, however additional rain meant that many of the hydro plants were running, as opposed to spilling water without generating. This put downwards pressure on the local prices. The lower Tasmanian prices didn’t result in lower prices for the rest of the National Electricity Market (NEM). Across all regions, the prices during the 2018...

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14 Nov National Energy Guarantee: it’s over

In late 2017, the Energy Security Board (ESB) developed a scheme to provide investment certainty in the electricity market, which would address Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. The Coalition had ruled out a carbon tax, other cap-and-trade schemes and virtually any other scheme which had been attempted in the past. This left very few options for the ESB to appropriately address investment certainty in the electricity market. The ESB eventually developed an innovative scheme called the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The basis of the NEG was essentially a cap-and-trade scheme for environmental certificates and, as a sweetener, it also had a reliability obligation. Essentially, the scheme was linked to contracts...

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31 Aug CleanCo moving ahead

In a media statement released 30 August, the Queensland Government confirmed their intention to establish CleanCo, Queensland’s third publicly owned electricity generator. CleanCo will have a strategic portfolio of low and no emission power generations assets, and will build, own and operate new renewable generation. It is understood that CleanCo will take control of assets including Wivenhoe, Barron Gorge and Kareeya hydro power stations and the Swanbank E gas power station, courtesy of a restructure of the two current publicly-owned electricity generators – CS Energy and Stanwell Corporation. CleanCo is expected to be trading by mid-2019....

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27 Aug Loss of critical infrastructure leads to loss of power

On Saturday, two critical lines connecting Queensland to the rest of the National Electricity Market (NEM) were lost resulting in load shedding. In total, New South Wales shed 800 MW of load, Victoria 280 MW and 80 MW in Tasmania. This was predominately industrial load which was reconnected within an hour. Lightning is the most likely cause. While farmers in Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland were celebrating much needed rain, the transmissions lines between Bulli Creek and Dumaresq tripped off. At the same time, the line was lost between Armidale and Tamworth in Northern New South Wales. At the same time, South Australia was separated from Victoria. Refer to image...

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21 Aug Changes to the National Energy Guarantee

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has, once again, made last minute changes to the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). When the states threatened to walk away from the NEG, Mr Turnbull responded by making the emissions target regulated rather than legislated. This means that a minister is able to change the target without the support of the parliament. Over the weekend, Mr Turnbull came under pressure internally with several backbenchers, led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, wanting to get rid of the targets all together. A number of changes to the NEG were announced on Monday 20 August, 2018. These changes include providing additional controversial powers to the ACCC where they will...

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16 Aug National Energy Guarantee Update

Yesterday the COAG Energy Council released a draft of the proposed changes to the National Electricity Law that would implement the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The draft Bill sets out: Who is liable under the emissions reduction and reliability requirements; The key aspects of the emissions and reliability requirements; The compliance and penalty framework; The additional functions and powers of the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to support the implementation of the Guarantee; and A new emissions objective, applicable to the emissions requirement, to guide rule-making by the AEMC and the exercise of related functions and powers by the AEMC,...

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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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