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Inflation, interest rates, commodity prices and electricity prices

Inflation, interest rates, commodity prices and electricity prices

There has been growing concern about inflationary pressures, the prospect of higher interest rates and higher fuel costs for the economy generally. But what do these factors mean for electricity prices? We have taken a detailed look at the factors at play and how they are likely to determine and influence our power prices.

BY Peter Brook May 19 2022
The UK energy market and its parallels with Australia

The UK energy market and its parallels with Australia

For any British tourist, spending time in Australia is an absolute pleasure - even during your winter! The weather is wonderful, the food is excellent, your access to the outdoors is enviable and everyone seems to be incredibly friendly and welcoming. Whilst those differences are refreshing, there are also some similarities too – the structure of your energy market has many parallels and I’ve often heard it said by Australian colleagues that the best way to predict what’s going to happen here is to look to the UK. With that in mind, it’s worth casting our eyes over there now as the British system is going through a series of fundamental changes that may have relevance for the Australian energy retail market in particular.

CopperString 2.0: A look at the numbers

CopperString 2.0: A look at the numbers

North Queensland attracts its fair share of debate around electricity. Since around 2009 there has been a push to develop a major transmission line – now CopperString 2.0 (CopperString) – to connect Mt Isa to the National Electricity Market. Discussion around the CopperString proposal has come back into focus recently with submissions to the Queensland Government on electricity supply options for the North-West Minerals Province. Here we take a closer look at the CopperString proposal, the project’s background, options moving forward and the costs and benefits.

BY Peter Brook May 12 2022
Report provides insights into energy transition

Report provides insights into energy transition

The transition of the energy grid continues apace and its impacts on how the system operates continue to evolve. The latest GenInsights21 report provides valuable insights into some of the key trends that are emerging, this is based on analysis of extensive generation data. We take a look at its assessment of the expansion of rooftop solar and the implications for the grid.

BY Australian Energy Council May 05 2022
Zero Emissions Dispatchability Discussion Paper

Zero Emissions Dispatchability Discussion Paper

The latest discussion paper in the Australian Energy Council’s series on Australia’s Energy Future focuses on the need for zero emissions dispatchable plant to complement the growth of renewable energy and the retirement of existing coal and gas generation. It also considers the types of zero emissions dispatchable power currently available.

BY Australian Energy Council Apr 28 2022
Electrification & Heat: Discussion paper released

Electrification & Heat: Discussion paper released

The Australian Energy Council is releasing a series of discussion papers examining the challenges and opportunities in decarbonisation of the economy. This paper - Electrification & Heat - considers the potential electrification of heat sources in both the residential and industrial context.

BY Australian Energy Council Apr 21 2022
Outlook highlights challenges and change

Outlook highlights challenges and change

The latest US Energy Information Administration (EIA) annual energy outlook provides a useful insight into the shifts in both the drivers of electricity consumption and the anticipated transition in the generation sources. In particular it highlights the ongoing important role that gas generation will play in the energy mix as renewables continue to grow.

BY Australian Energy Council Apr 21 2022
Closure notice rules not as simple as they sound

Closure notice rules not as simple as they sound

Last week, the Federal Energy Minister submitted a rule change to the AEMC to extend the notice of closure for generators to five years. Early market information is certainly beneficial, but attempting to mandate fixed dates does introduce complexities, is not readily enforceable and is potentially counter-productive. It also appears to confuse forecasts and commitments. We take a look at the history of such rules, along with the issues that can arise.

BY Ben Skinner Apr 14 2022
New Discussion Papers Outline Decarbonisation Challenges and Opportunities

New Discussion Papers Outline Decarbonisation Challenges and Opportunities

In June 2020 the Australian Energy Council released its Net Zero by 2050 policy. Since then the focus has turned to interim targets to set the economy on a realistic pathway to meet the overall ambition and the AEC subsequently announced its support for an economy-wide emissions reduction target of 55% on 2005 levels by 2035. The AEC is now releasing a series of discussion papers examining the challenges and opportunities with decarbonisation. The latest is on Eletrification & Heat.

BY Australian Energy Council Apr 07 2022
Do generators earn adequate revenue?

Do generators earn adequate revenue?

Electricity markets are always evolving to address new and emerging issues. The Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) has seen its share of reforms and changes. Together they can have a substantial impact on generators, so to better understand the implications the Australian Energy Council (AEC) engaged Marsden Jacobs Associates (MJA). MJA’s review is pertinent across Australia and here we look at the key findings and consider whether generators in the WEM receive adequate revenue to support the dramatic transition underway.

BY Graham Pearson Apr 07 2022
Electrification and 'peakier' generation: The gas outlook

Electrification and 'peakier' generation: The gas outlook

When the market operator released its gas outlook for eastern and south-eastern Australia this week a lot of media focus was on the potential for a “gas squeeze”. But the assessment also flags the potential for electrification to impact gas consumption into the future, the continuing importance of gas generation and a likely change in peak demand periods for its output.

BY Carl Kitchen Mar 31 2022
Small nuclear reactors come with big price tag: report

Small nuclear reactors come with big price tag: report

Small modular reactors (SMR) are talked about a lot as a means to decarbonise, but they face a number of challenges, not least of which is their costs. A new report has looked specifically at the first and only SMR design to receive design approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its costings and raises some questions.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Mar 31 2022
Virtual power: Fast Becoming A Reality?

Virtual power: Fast Becoming A Reality?

Virtual Power Plants have been identified as playing a key role in the future, particularly supported by the strong growth in rooftop solar. VPP trials show aggregated DER can provide not just generation, but demand response, contingency frequency control and ancillary services (FCAS) and potentially network services.

ACCUs take a very big tumble

ACCUs take a very big tumble

Earlier this year there was much discussion around the skyrocketing demand for Australian Carbon Credit Units. But a short time after, the price of carbon credits took a tumble, losing more than a third of their value in one day. Recent events in ACCU prices re-affirm how important it is for government and regulators to avoid surprising the market. It also exposes the fragility of “direct action” carbon markets.

BY Ben Skinner Mar 17 2022
EU hydrogen blending: Is it the right mix?

EU hydrogen blending: Is it the right mix?

The European Commission’s hydrogen strategy aims to make widespread use of green hydrogen possible from 2030 onwards, while Britain’s gas grid is currently preparing to accept a blend of up to 20 per cent hydrogen. But a recent study claims that adding 20 per cent hydrogen in the European gas grid is “technically complex".

BY Justine Lovell Mar 17 2022
Bottoms up: Can the new DMO overcome false precision?

Bottoms up: Can the new DMO overcome false precision?

The Australian Energy Regulator recently released its Draft Determination of the Default Market Offer for 2022-23, where it intends to switch from the currently used indexation methodology to a cost build-up methodology - a significant move that will influence how the final DMO price is set.

BY Rhys Thomas Mar 10 2022
Transitioning to Net Zero: Different transitions, different paths

Transitioning to Net Zero: Different transitions, different paths

While there’s been much debate about how to make the transition to Net Zero, a new report aims to quantify the potential risks and financial implications if Australia’s path to decarbonisation is delayed. The CSIRO report looks at the economy’s exposure to climate-related transition risk, and aims to be a “first step” to identifying which industries will have greater risks if the transition to Net Zero is delayed.

BY Justine Lovell Mar 10 2022
Cryptocurrency drives energy demand

Cryptocurrency drives energy demand

Cryptocurrency and the best-known form, Bitcoin, has become more widespread over the past few years with more than 3 million Australian’s now owning cryptocurrency. While the focus around Bitcoin has been on its volatility and prices, there's increasing focus on the scale of its demand for electricity and the implications for grids and carbon emissions.

NPI methodologies: How do generators calculate emissions?

NPI methodologies: How do generators calculate emissions?

Last year, the Australian Energy Council engaged Environment Resources Management to review the different ways industry calculates and reports its emissions to the National Pollutant Inventory. This review shows the emission estimation methods that electricity generators use for their emissions data.

BY Rhys Thomas Feb 24 2022
Coal exits: What’s in store for batteries?

Coal exits: What’s in store for batteries?

Increasing periods of negative pricing and low operational demand driven by renewables complicates the economics of coal plant. As coal plants exit the grid, they will be replaced by renewables supported by batteries, pumped hydro, and gas generation. Storage - battery and pumped hydro - will play an increasingly important role.

BY Australian Energy Council Feb 24 2022
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