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How to make the transition to EVs: Inquiry looks for answers

How to make the transition to EVs: Inquiry looks for answers

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water is expected to inquire into and report on the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and has been taking public submissions to inform its considerations. For transport, electrification is the obvious solution to assist this sector begin to decarbonise. Part of the inquiry’s focus is on the issues related to the supply and sale of electricity for EVs and EV integration more broadly. We take a look.

BY David Markham Mar 28 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
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
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
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
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
GenCost verdict: Onshore wind and solar remain lowest cost generation

GenCost verdict: Onshore wind and solar remain lowest cost generation

The latest GenCost report has again highlighted that solar and onshore wind remain the lowest cost new build generation available. This remains the case even when integration costs are factored in. The report also quantifies the cost of global supply chain constraints which have impacted the raw material costs for manufacturing, as well as the transport costs involved in getting new generation installed. Those constraints have led to an estimated average 20 per cent increase in technology costs compared to a year ago. Read more to see the forecast costs of different generation technologies.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 27 2023
Energy storage assessment: Where are we now?

Energy storage assessment: Where are we now?

A new report from the CSIRO has highlighted the major challenge ahead in having sufficient energy storage available in coming decades to support the National Electricity Market (NEM) as dispatchable plant leaves the grid. The roadmap also provides a useful insight into the current maturity level of energy storage technologies, using the commercial readiness index (CRI), as well as a technical readiness level (TRL) framework. We take a look at what they found.

BY Carl Kitchen Jun 08 2023
OSM RIP

OSM RIP

After three years of work on the Operational Security Mechanism (OSM) rule change and reaching a Draft Determination last October, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) changed course last week with a guidance note that appears to call the whole thing off. The OSM was to be a mechanism by which the market operator could start assets that provide Essential System Services (ESS) to secure the power system. An automated tool that was meant to make it simple. So, what’s changed and where we are now? we take a look.

BY Ben Skinner Jun 01 2023
Critical minerals, clean energy and a US compact

Critical minerals, clean energy and a US compact

Last weekend the US and Australia entered a Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact. Prior to that the Federal Government announced funding to help progress development of local processing capabilities for critical minerals and more is expected to emerge when the Federal Government’s critical minerals strategy is released in coming weeks. It all highlights the growing importance of critical minerals in the clean energy transition and how best to develop Australia’s reserves. We consider the key drivers and recent developments.

BY Carl Kitchen May 25 2023
New report on management of large-scale battery hazards

New report on management of large-scale battery hazards

The energy industry’s transition to lower emissions is resulting in companies’ health, safety and environment focus shifting from conventional generation to large-scale batteries. To assist the industry’s reskilling, the Australian Energy Council engaged GHD Engineering Consultants to provide an introduction to large-scale battery hazards. Today we release their report.

BY Australian Energy Council Mar 30 2023
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
Hot topic: Victoria’s big battery

Hot topic: Victoria’s big battery

It has been a remarkable year for the number of significant incidents in NEM supply. Recently a fire at Victoria’s “big battery” began just after 10am on Friday 30 July, and investigations are being undertaken. The results will be closely watched not just locally, but internationally.

BY Carl Kitchen Aug 19 2021
Victoria’s big battery: What exactly is it for?

Victoria’s big battery: What exactly is it for?

Announced with great fanfare on 5 November, the Victorian Big Battery may not win any prizes for imaginative naming, but it’s an intriguing project for a host of reasons.

BY Allan O'Neil for AEC Nov 26 2020
Batteries going with the flow

Batteries going with the flow

Australia is one of the fastest growing energy storage markets in the world with the most mature storage technologies being pumped hydro and lithium-ion batteries . But other technologies have been developing in the background - such as flow batteries, which provide opportunities in larger scale applications.

BY Justine Lovell Jun 25 2019
Storage: Retirement home for old EV batteries?

Storage: Retirement home for old EV batteries?

The global shift from petroleum-fuelled to electric vehicles has flagged an “urgency” in finding ways to reuse or recycle retired EV batteries .

BY Justine Lovell May 23 2019
SA’s big battery: A look at its performance

SA’s big battery: A look at its performance

South Australia’s “big” battery, the 100MW 130MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve, has attracted significant attention as one of the largest installed globally to date. It offers useful insights on the capabilities of the technology to support the grid. Independent energy consultant Allan O’Neil has looked at the contribution of the battery to grid security when a large generating unit tripped[i], and how the system overall responded to this event.

Cobalt: Could it be a brake on battery development?

Cobalt: Could it be a brake on battery development?

Recent media reports have debated whether government should support the development of electric vehicles (EV) given their current costs. Part of the discussion has focussed on the cost of the all-important power source, the batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are core to many EVs, and a vital component in these batteries is cobalt. With projections that the development of EVs is expected to accelerate , this has prompted some concern about whether the world will have an adequate supply of cobalt into the future .

BY AEC Feb 02 2018
SA's renewables "challenge": The role of demand management, batteries & storage

SA's renewables "challenge": The role of demand management, batteries & storage

The first part of this analysis drew on recent South Australian electricity data to examine some of the impacts arising from the transition to higher penetration of large and small scale renewables, particularly the changing requirements on dispatchable generation and other resources as the residual demand curve evolves.

BY Allan O'Neil for AEC Sep 22 2017
A Battery for SA: Durable or barely energised?

A Battery for SA: Durable or barely energised?

Last week the South Australian Government announced that Tesla Inc. had won the tender to build utility-scale battery storage in time for the coming summer. We take a look at how valuable this will be for South Australia.

BY Duncan MacKinnon Jul 14 2017
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