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Gas and hydro: Back-up in action

Gas and hydro: Back-up in action

The first quarter of 2021 for the NEM's spot market was notable for its lack of notability. But in a measure of the how the NEM can turn, the Q2 Queensland average price to date is $135.83/MWh, versus $42.64/MWh over Q1. We look at how the market almost always successfully responds to the NEM’s variations, and its reliance on hydro and gas-fired generation to keep the lights on.

BY Ben Skinner & Carol Tran Jun 17 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.

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
End of era with Yallourn closure

End of era with Yallourn closure

Yallourn has been home to a coal-fired power station for 100 years, but it was recently announced that this would come to an end in 2028 with the closure of the current four unit Yallourn W power station. In providing seven years notice of closure, EnergyAustralia has given the market, policy makers and government time to adjust and avoid shocks. We take a look at the announcement and some history of the power station.

BY AEC Mar 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
Concerns remain post-Liddell

Concerns remain post-Liddell

On Friday 20 November the modelling undertaken for the Liddell Taskforce was finally released, following the September release of the Taskforce report.

BY Carl Kitchen Dec 10 2020
Re-regulation: What do latest retail reports reveal?

Re-regulation: What do latest retail reports reveal?

At the end of November each year, the AER and ESC publish their assessments of the performance of the retail market for the previous financial year.

BY Ben Barnes Dec 03 2020
 NEM “fixes” look more like fissures

NEM “fixes” look more like fissures

The National Electricity Market has held up well under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workforces and supply have remained safe and retailers have gone to even greater lengths to support customers who are doing it tough.

BY Sarah McNamara Nov 19 2020
NSW Generation: What impact intervention?

NSW Generation: What impact intervention?

This week the Federal Government announced it would be prepared to step in to have 1000MW of dispatchable capacity built to replace the retiring 1680MW Liddell power station in NSW if the private sector does not “step up”.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 26 2020
Rewiring the nation or rewinding the nation?

Rewiring the nation or rewinding the nation?

On 8 October the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, made his reply to the Federal Budget. In it the ALP proposed a $20 billion policy entitled “Rewiring the Nation”. Is this a good idea? We take a look.

BY Duncan MacKinnon Oct 22 2020
Smoke on the solar: The impact on generation

Smoke on the solar: The impact on generation

The extreme weather conditions that led to massive bushfires occurring on both Australia’s south east coast last summer and across California more recently has had a dramatic and far reaching impact on people and communities.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 15 2020
Putting the squeeze on prices and competition

Putting the squeeze on prices and competition

A new paper has found a drop in the spread of retail market offers following the re-introduction of price re-regulation in July last year.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 08 2020
Getting hydrogen on your own supply

Getting hydrogen on your own supply

If you Google “technology roadmap”, in the ‘People also ask’ section there’s a question, “What is the purpose of a technology roadmap?” That seems a good place to start.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Sep 24 2020
Power station upgrades in the time of COVID-19

Power station upgrades in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has thrown up a range of challenges – some well understood, others still emerging. For the energy sector, the safety of its workforce and contractors is paramount, so minimising the risk of COVID-19 spread has been a daily focus since the pandemic began. At the same time, with energy an essential service, the industry has ensured this intense focus on workforce safety has not resulted in interruption to energy supply.

BY AEC Sep 24 2020
Help To Stay On Track: Retail help during COVID-19

Help To Stay On Track: Retail help during COVID-19

The ongoing challenges of COVID-19 - and most recently the hard lock down in Melbourne and restrictions more broadly in Victoria - have brought the economic stress on households to the fore.

BY AEC Sep 10 2020
Governance and Regulation of Market/System Operators

Governance and Regulation of Market/System Operators

In this era of dramatic changes in the energy markets – with completely new generation technologies, revolutionary impacts of distributed technologies, and a deepening transmission grid all interacting – the market and system operator’s role, performance and industry engagement are crucial.

BY AEC & ENA Sep 10 2020
ESOO spotlight on reliability standards and low demand

ESOO spotlight on reliability standards and low demand

In some ways this year’s release of the market operator’s Electricity Statement of Opportunities seemed anticlimactic compared to its predecessor which had raised the spectre of a potential lack of supply in Victoria last summer.

BY Carl Kitchen Sep 03 2020
Renewables in the NEM: Are they leading to price extremes?

Renewables in the NEM: Are they leading to price extremes?

With the ongoing growth of renewables in Australia there has been speculation of the overall impact this will have on an energy-only market like the NEM and in particular, its potential influence on spot prices.

BY Carl Kitchen Aug 20 2020
The 2020 ISP: A Lonely Planet guide for transmission

The 2020 ISP: A Lonely Planet guide for transmission

On 30 July AEMO published its biennial Integrated System Plan, which recommended about $10 billion of interconnect projects be developed over the coming 20 years.

BY Duncan MacKinnon Aug 13 2020
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