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CopperString 2.0: A look at the numbers

CopperString 2.0: A look at the numbers

Since around 2009 there's been a push to develop a major transmission line – now CopperString 2.0 – to connect Mt Isa to the National Electricity Market. Discussion around the CopperString proposal has come back into focus recently. We look at 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
Closure notice rules not as simple as they sound

Closure notice rules not as simple as they sound

Recently 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 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
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
Carbon credits: Will they continue to rise in price?

Carbon credits: Will they continue to rise in price?

The Federal Government announced it would extend consultation on its contentious proposal to allow the Minister for Agriculture to veto certain carbon credit projects. The debate around this proposal comes on the backdrop of skyrocketing demand for Australian Carbon Credit Units, and with it, pressure for increased supply.

BY Rhys Thomas Feb 10 2022
Green steel deal

Green steel deal

With the world’s eyes on COP26, Australia may be looking in the wrong direction for the next major step on decarbonisation. Bilateral trade pacts centred around a US-EU alliance could be the way forward and may give Australia pause for thought on its own approach; but the picture may be more complicated.

Electricity does heavy lifting on emissions reductions

Electricity does heavy lifting on emissions reductions

The Federal Government has unveiled its net zero emissions by 2050 target and projections for economy-wide emissions. The projections show the heavy lifting that's occurred from the electricity sector and flags the continued leading role the sector will play in reducing the country’s greenhouse gas output. But it also shows more needs to be done by other sectors to reach its 2050 target.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 28 2021
Emission targets: The state of play

Emission targets: The state of play

The Federal Cabinet recently met to consider the Government’s plan for a net zero emissions by 2050 target. This has proved challenging for the Coalition partners. The push for stronger interim targets has emerged in the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Summit and has been reinforced by other countries increasing their commitments. We look at some of the targets that have been set both domestically and internationally.

BY Australian Energy Council Oct 14 2021
Nuclear debate resurfaces

Nuclear debate resurfaces

Debate about Australia’s national security needs and commitment to nuclear submarines has led to renewed advocacy for a domestic nuclear power industry. The question of nuclear power has previously been formally canvassed. While it's sensible to keep technology options open through a technology neutral approach, nuclear generation has major impediments to its introduction in Australia. We look at some of the challenges.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 14 2021
Eurovision: Would Germany’s coal exit law be a hit in Australia?

Eurovision: Would Germany’s coal exit law be a hit in Australia?

As the world head towards Glasgow, countries are being asked to review their level of climate ambition and whether they’re on track to get there. Well known for its coal use, Germany has developed a formal mechanism that will see all coal-fired generation phased out by 2038. So what, if anything, can Australia learn?

BY Rhys Thomas Sep 23 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
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
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.

FMG chases green dream

FMG chases green dream

Disruption is one of the cornerstones of the success of Fortescue Metals Group. FMG’s ability to get things done in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers can be illustrated no more vividly than when BHP and Rio Tinto sought to prevent the then start up iron ore miner from accessing its rail lines in the Pilbara. FMG built its own and outdid its rivals by extending those lines to Perth. Now FMG wants to apply the same zeal to energy and green steel.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Mar 04 2021
The best little blackout in Texas

The best little blackout in Texas

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. The major power outages from which it is just emerging, were triggered by a polar vortex and impacted around 4.5 million customers. There's been plenty of finger pointing with intermittent renewables being blamed, questions raised about Texas’s go-it-alone attitude and claims of poor preparations stemming from a deregulated energy market.

BY Carl Kitchen Feb 25 2021
New systems, new risks

New systems, new risks

The shift to an increasingly low-carbon grid will continue to bring major structural changes to electricity systems around the world and, with it, new challenges in managing security on various levels.

BY AEC Nov 05 2020
The wildcat strike: Twenty years on

The wildcat strike: Twenty years on

We are often discussing the new challenges of securely operating a power system with new renewable and storage technologies. Twenty years ago the National Electricity Market supply was much more uniform relying on conventional large power systems, predominately coal. But that was no cruise either as the power system then faced a routine threat as big as anything we face today, but has now abated: industrial action.

BY Ben Skinner Nov 05 2020
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