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Green schemes: What are they and how are they causing greater inequality?

Green schemes: What are they and how are they causing greater inequality?

For the past two decades, state and federal governments have introduced various policies aimed at incentivising households and businesses to be more energy efficient and to support renewable technologies, which are often referred to as ‘green schemes’ or ‘environmental schemes’. While well intentioned, the cost of these schemes are typically passed onto consumers through electricity bills, impacting energy affordability for some users.

BY Tom Monaghan Feb 22 2024
Embedded networks, regulation and energy innovation: Is IPART on the right track?

Embedded networks, regulation and energy innovation: Is IPART on the right track?

The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has undertaken a review of embedded networks and is grappling with how best to set prices to reach its objectives to incentivise customers and embedded network sellers to supply and use energy efficiently as well as enabling the efficient use of energy and encouraging sustainable energy solutions and accommodating innovation and investment in the energy sector. Not a simple task. Are they on the right track? We take a look.

BY David Markham Feb 15 2024
Port of Hastings decision – what does it mean for electricity planning?

Port of Hastings decision – what does it mean for electricity planning?

Last month, the Federal Government blocked progress of the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal – Victoria’s flagship offshore wind support project – on the grounds it posed “clearly unacceptable” risks to biodiversity in the Westernport Bay region. The impact of this decision was magnified by the Victorian Government reportedly being unaware that this ruling was coming. We untangle the regulatory process that led to this decision and consider what it means for energy transition planning.

BY Rhys Thomas Feb 08 2024
2023 - The Year That Was

2023 - The Year That Was

In recent years the pace and breadth of change and developments in the energy sector has been remarkable. Looking back over the past 12 months it is apparent that continues to be the case.

BY Australian Energy Council Dec 19 2023
New Year, new regulated pricing approaches?

New Year, new regulated pricing approaches?

Consultations are underway for the setting of the default market offers in 2024. Both the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and the Essential Services Commission (ESC) in Victoria and have released early papers outlining their key areas of focus. In comparing the two approaches, the AER appears to be undergoing a more detailed review, whereas the ESC seems to be more settled in its methodology overall. We take a look at the approaches being undertaken.

BY Jo De Silva Dec 07 2023
Delivering the energy transition: Contestability vs financeability

Delivering the energy transition: Contestability vs financeability

The development and construction of new transmission where economically justified is critical for the energy transition and it needs to be delivered in a timely and efficient manner. Several rule change proposals highlighting concerns about the TNSPs’ ability to raise the necessary finance to fund construction on terms that maintain a BBB+ credit rating. We take a look at the issue and consider whether there might be other workable approaches to deliver the transmission the transition requires.

BY Peter Brook Dec 07 2023
Expanded National CIS: What are the pros and cons?

Expanded National CIS: What are the pros and cons?

The expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) announced last week aims to bring forward 32GW of generation investment - 9GW dispatchable capacity and 23GW variable renewable capacity - with the costs of the scheme funded by the Federal Government. It can be expected to encourage new capacity which will represent a significant injection of renewables into a grid with ongoing system constraints so does not come without some risks. We take a look at some of the pros and cons.

BY David Feeney Nov 30 2023
Industry funding for financial counselling services

Industry funding for financial counselling services

Earlier this week, the Federal Government and a group of industry bodies announced a partnership to co-fund an Industry Funded Financial Counselling body, designed to bring together industry and the financial counselling sector to enable better support for Australian consumers. We take a look at the announcement, and highlight some opportunities and risks for the funding body as it enters its development phase.

BY Ben Barnes Nov 23 2023
Some highs and lows: Investor sentiment

Some highs and lows: Investor sentiment

Some of the challenges being thrown up by the energy transition, in particular around approvals, capacity and supply chain constraints, skilled labour shortages and government interventions are being reflected in the latest assessment of investor sentiment towards the sector. We take a look.

BY Carl Kitchen Nov 23 2023
SMR Cancellation: Major setback or hiccup?

SMR Cancellation: Major setback or hiccup?

The cancellation of the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) in Idaho which was expected to be the first commercial development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology in the US has been labelled a major setback for this nascent nuclear technology. NuScale’s design was seen as being at the forefront for commercialisation of SMR plant. So what happened? We take a look.

BY Carl Kitchen Nov 16 2023
Energy Dynamics Report - A Tale of Minimum Operational Demand and Wholesale Price declines

Energy Dynamics Report - A Tale of Minimum Operational Demand and Wholesale Price declines

The third quarter saw significant price declines compared with the corresponding quarter in 2022 right across the NEM. At the same time with increased output from solar and wind generation inin Queensland’s case, minimum operational demand records were set or equaled in every region. The quarter also saw the highest-ever level of negative price intervals with all regions showing an increase. We dive in to the pricing and operational demand detail of AEMO’s Q3 Quarterly Energy Dynamics Report.

BY Australian Energy Council Nov 09 2023
Going over and above

Going over and above

Retailers take their role as providers of essential services very seriously and the intensive monitoring and reporting of their obligations illustrates this. But these regulatory obligations merely represent a part of their extensive support programs. The willingness of retailers to invest further in supporting customers in need is a sign of their broader customer commitment. We take a closer look at the additional support retailers provide to their customers.

BY Jo De Silva Nov 02 2023
Consumer affordability trends in the retail energy market

Consumer affordability trends in the retail energy market

The recent AER State of The Energy Market report highlights customer affordability trends in the retail electricity market, as well as market impacts from the increasing efficiency of homes and demand response technologies. The report also looks at hardship programs offered by retailers and other support available to consumers.

BY Australian Energy Council Oct 26 2023
International Electricity Summit 2023: Australia goes to Washington D.C.

International Electricity Summit 2023: Australia goes to Washington D.C.

The International Electricity Summit is held every 12 – 18 months and brings together electricity industry leaders from around the globe to examine the major issues and headwinds facing the sector. It is an invaluable opportunity to meet colleagues from other developed economies and talk together to understand the challenges occurring in electricity markets globally.

BY AEC & ENA Oct 19 2023
Green energy superpower

Green energy superpower

As Australia undergoes its energy transition, there has been discussion around the country’s potential to establish itself as a ‘green energy superpower’ within a future global green economy. Illustrating this discussion is a recently released report by the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth.

BY Braeden Keen Oct 19 2023
NEM generation profile 2022-23

NEM generation profile 2022-23

The AER’s 2023 State of the Energy Market highlights the generation mix across the NEM as well as emerging trends. We take a look at what key developments occurred in the generation mix and how they impacted price trends throughout the 2022-23 financial year.

BY Australian Energy Council Oct 12 2023
Data centres: A 24hr power source?

Data centres: A 24hr power source?

Data centres play a critical role in enabling the storage and processing of vast amounts of online data. However they are also known for their significant energy consumption, which has raised concerns about their environmental impact and operating costs. But can data centres be fully sustainable, or even a source of power?

BY Australian Energy Council Oct 12 2023
Cost storm hits UK offshore wind

Cost storm hits UK offshore wind

As Australia prepares for its first offshore wind projects, the leading international market for offshore wind, the UK, has hit some rough seas due to a combination of low strike contract prices being offered under its contract for difference scheme and major increases in overall project costs. Its latest contracts for difference auction price cap was set at GBP44/MWh but resulted in no offshore project proposals. We take a look and consider what is proposed in response to support the UK’s ambitious offshore wind target of 50GW by 2030.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 05 2023
Decarbonising aviation – in it for the long haul

Decarbonising aviation – in it for the long haul

Until recently, the aviation sector has avoided policymaker attention – at least as far as carbon reduction policy goes. However, this has started to change with the Federal Government’s recent publication of an Aviation Green Paper, which attempts to navigate the foggy skies of how to align aviation with a net-zero by 2050 future. So what are some of the options, and challenges, for aviation decarbonisation? Here we take a look.

BY Rhys Thomas Sep 28 2023
Storage across the NEM

Storage across the NEM

In a speech in March this year, AEMC Commissioner Tim Jordan stated “…By AEMO’s current calculations, outlined in the ISP, 61 GW of storage capacity is needed by 2050 under the Step Change scenario. That’s 17 times current levels.” Federal and state governments have announced various policies to stimulate battery investment, but challenges to their development are starting to emerge. Here we take a look at current proposals for storage across the NEM and their implications.

BY Australian Energy Council Sep 28 2023
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