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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
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
Texan energy crisis: Lessons for Australian electricity markets

Texan energy crisis: Lessons for Australian electricity markets

In February Texas endured a winter storm that dragged temperatures well below freezing. Electricity generation plant and gas infrastructure proved unprepared for these temperatures and around a third of the state’s effective capacity went offline for some or all of this period, just as demand was spiking to a new winter record.

Coal vs 100% renewables: The wrong debate?

Coal vs 100% renewables: The wrong debate?

A new report released this week tackles the question of “what next?” following the retirement of the National Electricity Market’s existing coal-fired power stations. And it has a simple message: those arguing for a continuation of coal-fired generation are wrong and those mounting the case for 100 per cent renewables are also wrong.

BY AEC Apr 15 2021
The retail regulatory framework: Still fit for purpose?

The retail regulatory framework: Still fit for purpose?

During the height of COVID-19, Australian retailers were concerned that the impacts of government interventions might unintentionally impact the ability of retailers to meet their upstream obligations. The impacts on retailers of providing additional protections – on top of the already notable consumer protections in place - and the longer-term debt implications for customers remained a concern.

BY Ben Barnes Apr 08 2021
A changing of the guard: Gas generation projections

A changing of the guard: Gas generation projections

The focus around AEMO’s latest assessment of gas supplies for eastern Australia was on its improved outlook. One change in its expectations for gas demand flows from the potential of gas-fired generation in the National Electricity Market. AEMO expects gas-fired generation demand to become more “peaky” and to switch to peaking in winter instead of summer.

BY Carl Kitchen Apr 01 2021
Customer benefits don’t necessarily benefit the customer

Customer benefits don’t necessarily benefit the customer

A perennial discussion in energy market policy is the contest between what we are ultimately trying to achieve: “customer benefits” or “market benefits”. When making market rules, or building monopoly assets, rules require that we assess “net market” benefits. A number of recent government policies have been justified on customer benefit assessments alone.

BY Ben Skinner Mar 18 2021
How do we deal with emerging excess supply?

How do we deal with emerging excess supply?

The economics of traditional plants are well understood, but since their construction, the way they need to operate has changed substantially. This has been driven by a combination of the age of the plants as well as the large influx of renewables, which is changing the supply and demand patterns of the grid.

BY Carl Kitchen Mar 18 2021
Capacity markets: The answer to extreme weather?

Capacity markets: The answer to extreme weather?

The fallout from the Texas blackouts has continued with the question of system reliability front and centre and, along with it, whether a mechanism like a capacity market could have led to a different outcome. We take a look at the US experience along with some of the issues it raises.

BY AEC Mar 04 2021
Dropping demand and plunging prices: Can you have too much of a good thing?

Dropping demand and plunging prices: Can you have too much of a good thing?

The fourth quarter of 2020 saw the NEM reach lowest average demand since Q4 2001 – with SA and Victoria’s spot prices hitting record lows. Are customers benefiting from the price suppression effects of renewable energy generation? Or is the market telling us a different story?

BY Ben Skinner Feb 18 2021
Big battery bonanza?

Big battery bonanza?

The way 2021 has started, you could be forgiven for thinking it is the year of the big battery. Plans for the “world’s largest battery” were unveiled for the Hunter Valley, while Meridian Energy announced a battery energy storage system to be co-located with the Hume Hydro Power Station. These are just the latest in a series of big battery project announcements.

BY Carl Kitchen Feb 11 2021
Engagement and governance key to success

Engagement and governance key to success

The Australian Energy Market Operator is undertaking reviews of its stakeholder engagement and governance processes. To help inform these inquiries, the AEC and ENA commissioned a report that has provided a range of recommendations.

BY AEC & ENA Feb 04 2021
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