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Demand, coal recovers from COVID: IEA

Demand, coal recovers from COVID: IEA

The IEA's latest electricity market report shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a rebound in electricity demand in some regions. What may come as a surprise is an anticipated increase in coal-fired generation, which is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in Asia Pacific over the next two years.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 29 2021
European Union plans to get “Fit for 55”

European Union plans to get “Fit for 55”

The European Commission recently unveiled a suite of new environmental policies under its “Fit for 55” legislative package, which highlights the European Union’s attempt to meet its 55 per cent net emissions reduction target for 2030. The package includes a range of policies but the carbon border adjustment mechanism - or CBAM - has received the most media attention, including within Australia.

BY Rhys Thomas Jul 22 2021
100% renewable grid: A journey through uncharted territory

100% renewable grid: A journey through uncharted territory

AEMO received headlines with its goal of delivering capability for the grid to manage 100 per cent renewables at any moment by 2025. The announcement was generally well-received but, unfortunately, misreported as targeting the running of the NEM entirely on renewables. Industry participants may ask why AEMO would be indicating a 100 per cent renewables capability by 2025, which is not to say that progress towards a lower emissions market isn’t welcome.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Jul 22 2021
High priced events: A snapshot

High priced events: A snapshot

After low first quarter prices in the NEM, concerns about price spikes have taken centre stage more recently with significant price volatility. AER reports into high priced events provide insight not just into the workings of the market, but the factors that can impact prices in an energy-only market. We look at three events – 17,18, 21 May - and the AER’s assessment of what was behind them.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 15 2021
Solar supply chain costs: A passing cloud?

Solar supply chain costs: A passing cloud?

For the first time in at least a decade the cost of solar PV to end users has been rising. This has been driven by an increase in raw material costs, and polysilicon in particular, which has reversed the trend of continuously falling lower prices for solar that we have come to expect.

BY Australian Energy Council Jul 08 2021
Increases in negative prices: Is it a positive?

Increases in negative prices: Is it a positive?

If there's one thing the Australian Energy Regulator’s State of the Energy Market report has reminded us, it’s that the National Electricity Market can be a wild ride at times. After the NEM achieved the lowest first quarter for wholesale prices since 2012, the last few months have seen an increase in price volatility.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 08 2021
Energy retailers: What do consumers think?

Energy retailers: What do consumers think?

The latest assessment of consumer sentiment shows record levels of satisfaction with energy retailers and a “growing belief that consumers are getting better value for money”. The data released by Energy Consumers Australia shows a steady improvement in the satisfaction trendline since December 2017.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 01 2021
Is minimum demand causing a major headache?

Is minimum demand causing a major headache?

AEMO’s Wholesale Electricity Market ESOO offers insight into the future of the WEM and its potential challenges. It presents a confident picture of generation meeting demand over the forecast period, while on the flipside it singles out the massive uptake of rooftop solar PV for causing a significant near-term issue.

BY Graham Pearson Jun 24 2021
EV policies focus on the destination not the journey

EV policies focus on the destination not the journey

State governments increasingly accept that the uptake of zero emissions vehicles requires their support to create a critical mass, with NSW the latest state to unveil a range of measures to speed up the purchase of ZEVs.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Jun 24 2021
Gas and hydro: Back-up in action

Gas and hydro: Back-up in action

The first quarter of 2021 for the NEM's spot market was notable for its lack of notability. But in a measure of the how the NEM can turn, the Q2 Queensland average price to date is $135.83/MWh, versus $42.64/MWh over Q1. We look at how the market almost always successfully responds to the NEM’s variations, and its reliance on hydro and gas-fired generation to keep the lights on.

BY Ben Skinner & Carol Tran Jun 17 2021
Driving towards EVs: How are we travelling?

Driving towards EVs: How are we travelling?

In its Net Zero by 2050 paper the IEA envisions a world where by 2030 electric cars account for over 60 per cent of car sales, and by 2035, nearly all cars sold globally are electric. AEMO electricity consumption forecasts show where it sees electrification of transport occurring and highlights expected growth in EV usage.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Jun 10 2021
Energy challenges highlighted by white paper

Energy challenges highlighted by white paper

The NSW Productivity Commission recently released a white paper, “Rebooting the economy”, which, amongst other things, has highlighted some of the challenges facing the energy sector.

BY Carl Kitchen Jun 10 2021
IEA: Net-zero by 2050 “narrow but still achievable”

IEA: Net-zero by 2050 “narrow but still achievable”

The IEA’s Roadmap for how the global energy sector can reach net-zero by 2050, warns the window for success is “narrow but still achievable”. It lays down recommendations for the type of policy action that is required if the world is to get there, and its blunt realism is confronting reading.

BY Rhys Thomas Jun 03 2021
Fair for who? Victoria's Energy Fairness Plan

Fair for who? Victoria's Energy Fairness Plan

Victoria's Energy Fairness Plan was introduced via press release just days before the 2018 state election. While the Plan was an election commitment, the Victorian Government has not made the case for the alleged benefit the parcel of these reforms will bring energy consumers.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons May 27 2021
Queensland blackout: Should we let the market run?

Queensland blackout: Should we let the market run?

Following a fire at Callide C Power station on Tuesday 25 May, a series of events resulted in multiple generators disconnecting and 2,300MW of demand being interrupted. This was the most severe event in the NEM since SA's black system of 2016. Like all serious power system incidents, there was a complex chain of issues that will take some time to unpick.

BY Ben Skinner May 27 2021
South Australia: Famine one day, feast the next (but one)

South Australia: Famine one day, feast the next (but one)

South Australia could borrow a slogan from another state based on recent vagaries and challenges thrown up by its energy grid. One day it experienced spot prices exceeding $5000/MWh six times between 6pm and midnight and two days later it was reporting near-record minimum demand, which required the step of curtailing rooftop solar to ensure grid stability.

BY Carl Kitchen May 20 2021
Getting the mail on solar installations

Getting the mail on solar installations

The Australian Energy Council has analysed the nation's top suburbs for solar installations for the first quarter of 2021. And with 20 years of data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator, we also take a look at how the data compares to historical uptake.

BY AEC May 13 2021
Will network operator batteries hurt competition?

Will network operator batteries hurt competition?

Australia is grappling with the rapid change in how and when electricity is generated and consumed. In Western Australia, recent changes to the Electricity Networks Access Code allow expansion of the role of the network operator. Oakley Greenwood has considered what the amendments mean for competition in the Wholesale Electricity Market.

BY Graham Pearson May 13 2021
Winter energy bills: Avoid a shock

Winter energy bills: Avoid a shock

With colder weather comes an increase in electricity and gas use. The AEC has published analysis of average electricity and gas costs by region using the latest energy consumption data. It shows seasonal breakdowns of energy use for each major network, as well as state by state average gas and electricity costs. It also offers simple tips on how people can save on their bills.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Apr 29 2021
Hydrogen for generation

Hydrogen for generation

Hydrogen is currently enjoying extraordinary political and business momentum, with the number of policies, national plans and projects growing. With its lack of carbon emissions, there is momentum for its use in generation - but some challenges still remain.

BY Carl Kitchen Apr 29 2021
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