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Germany’s coal-exit laws part of “unique experiment”

Germany’s coal-exit laws part of “unique experiment”

While the debate on coal-fired power stations has recently re-entered the news cycle in Australia, in Germany the debate formally ended this month with the passing of laws that will see its 84 coal plants close by 2038.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 30 2020
Barker Inlet: A new technology responding to the market

Barker Inlet: A new technology responding to the market

At the end of 2019 AGL successfully commissioned the 210MW gas-fired Barker Inlet Power Station in South Australia. This new investment occurred entirely in response to market signals, i.e. without subsidies. The power station employs reciprocating engine technology that has not previously been used in Australia at this scale, and provides remarkable flexibility in supplying on-demand power. Despite being fossil-fuelled, this flexibility will actually help Australia’s transition more rapidly to an almost fully de-carbonised electricity grid.

BY Ben Skinner Mar 12 2020
Generation retrofits: New report considers the implications

Generation retrofits: New report considers the implications

Reviews of national ambient air quality measures, as well as licence reviews in New South Wales and Victoria, have helped bring a focus on the contribution of coal-fired power stations to the fore this year.

BY Rhys Thomas Dec 12 2019
Power station particulate emissions: Flawed claims re-emerge

Power station particulate emissions: Flawed claims re-emerge

This year unsubstantiated claims about the health effects of coal-fired power stations in New South Wales have emerged despite a lack of supporting data and independent peer-reviewed assessment.

BY Rhys Thomas Oct 24 2019
The emergence of a new energy market dynamic

The emergence of a new energy market dynamic

Discussion about the emergence of a new energy market dynamic and whether there is a need to address it, has recently developed in the public arena.

BY Ben Skinner & Carol Tran Sep 12 2019
Countdown: Coal racing the clock

Countdown: Coal racing the clock

Last week the UK reported that it had run its grid for 90 hours and 45 minutes (or more than three and a half days) without any electricity from coal-fired generation. It is the longest period that the UK grid has operated without coal in the generation mix - in 2012 coal had met more than 40 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.

BY Carl Kitchen May 02 2019
Marginal Loss Factors: Will someone please repeal the laws of physics?

Marginal Loss Factors: Will someone please repeal the laws of physics?

Like waiting for exam results, generators await the Australian Energy Market Operator’s March release of draft Marginal Loss Factors with excitement and dread. This arcane document has big effects upon the profitability of power stations for the coming year.

BY Ben Skinner Mar 14 2019
No solar eclipse: IEA’s World Energy Outlook

No solar eclipse: IEA’s World Energy Outlook

In the International Energy Agency’s most recent World Energy Outlook the electricity sector is experiencing the largest transformation since its creation. It predicts that solar PV’s installed capacity will surpass wind before 2025, pass hydropower around 2030, and coal before 2040.

BY Justine Lovell Mar 04 2019
Increased gas and renewables to bump coal generation: EIA

Increased gas and renewables to bump coal generation: EIA

The latest Energy Outlook by the US Energy Information Administrations predicts that the US will become a net energy exporter by 2020 – the first time in 67 years. We take a look at the report which provides modelled projections of domestic energy markets from today through to 2050.

BY Justine Lovell Feb 07 2019
Power plant shutdowns: How Do You Prepare For The Transition?

Power plant shutdowns: How Do You Prepare For The Transition?

Since 2012, more than 5000MW of generation capacity as left the National Electricity Market as coal-fired power plants have closed. Those closures, along with the anticipated exit of more traditional power plants into the future has prompted talk of the what a transition plan should look like. We take a closer look.

BY Justine Lovell Nov 08 2018
Can power systems stand-alone?

Can power systems stand-alone?

Stand-Alone Power Systems are becoming increasingly economically viable as a substitute to not only grid extension, but to the existing grid itself, according to some commentators. But should they be market led or regulated?

BY David Markham Oct 25 2018
Planning for summer: What have we learnt?

Planning for summer: What have we learnt?

In May the Australian Energy Market Operator published its Summer 2017-18 Operations Review.

BY Ben Skinner Jun 08 2018
Generator reliability and summer: The heat is on

Generator reliability and summer: The heat is on

In a modern electricity grid, reliability is a priority. An emerging challenge for Australia’s electricity system is how to maintain the reliability standard as the generation mix changes.

BY Ben Skinner Feb 01 2018
Capacity factors: Understanding the misunderstood

Capacity factors: Understanding the misunderstood

With the current debate about the future of the Liddell Power Station in New South Wales, some media have focused on the plant’s capacity factor.

BY Carol Tran Dec 22 2017
So you’d like to run an old coal fired power station…

So you’d like to run an old coal fired power station…

There can be life at the end of a coal fired power station. But the ability to extend the life of these generators depends on a range of factors. It is not, as some suggest, simply a coat of paint and a tune up.

BY Matthew Warren Sep 08 2017
There is no reliable power without a reliable plan

There is no reliable power without a reliable plan

The electricity system is a giant machine in a giant transition. The task at hand is daunting: to refit the machine so it continues to deliver reliable and affordable power, whilst substantially reducing its greenhouse emissions through the first half of this century.

BY Matthew Warren Sep 07 2017
Power supply in the NEM generates debate

Power supply in the NEM generates debate

In light of the ACCC inquiry into rising electricity prices, some have turned their attention to the ownership of generation assets in the National Electricity Market.

BY Isobel Graham Sep 01 2017
US and Australian energy challenges: Same, same but different

US and Australian energy challenges: Same, same but different

Just after arriving as the new US Energy Secretary, Rick Perry asked the US Department of Energy to consider the US electricity markets and their reliability.

BY Carl Kitchen Sep 01 2017
The crowding out of coal

The crowding out of coal

BP recently released the 66th Statistical Review of World Energy 2017. It showed that global energy consumption grew by 1 per cent, a similar rate to 2014 and 2015, and almost half the average growth rate of the past decade.

BY Justine Lovell Aug 11 2017
Harvest years and fallow years: The life of a generator

Harvest years and fallow years: The life of a generator

“Companies hit hard by soaring wholesale power prices” - are generators being greedy or are they finally getting a fair return?

BY Duncan MacKinnon Aug 11 2017
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