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Will the WEM have enough capacity?

Will the WEM have enough capacity?

AEMO recently released its latest Wholesale Electricity Market Electricity Statement of Opportunities. The ESOO is important in setting the Reserve Capacity Requirement and but the biggest takeaway from this year's ESOO is the sharp reduction in excess capacity in the short term and a forecast capacity shortfall from 2025-26.

BY Graham Pearson Jun 30 2022
Reforming the Safeguard Mechanism: The opportunities and challenges

Reforming the Safeguard Mechanism: The opportunities and challenges

The ALP’s policy platform going into the recent Federal election included a promose to reform the Safeguard Mechanism. Those reforms represent an intent to accelerate Australia’s decarbonisation journey. Both opportunities and challenges lay ahead, but this is a necessary step forward if sectors other than electricity are to achieve net-zero.

BY Rhys Thomas Jun 16 2022
A post-blame explainer of the current energy crisis

A post-blame explainer of the current energy crisis

A combination of energy shocks which resulted in more than a week of very high wholesale electricity prices first triggered an automatic price cap in the National Electricity Market, and then the suspension of the market. Suspension was a radical step, reflective of the extreme market conditions. It was also better than where we were before when some generators were in the market, while others were being directed.

BY Sarah McNamara Jun 15 2022
Opposition changes tack on energy

Opposition changes tack on energy

Last week the Peter Dutton-led Opposition unveiled its front bench with the member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien MP, announced as the shadow Climate Change and Energy Minister. The new shadow Minister wasted no time putting nuclear energy into the public debate.

BY Carl Kitchen Jun 09 2022
New Minister, new policies to steer energy market transition

New Minister, new policies to steer energy market transition

The Hon Chris Bowen MP was this week appointed as Climate Change and Energy Minister in the new Labor Government. in the lead up to the Federal election he highlighted two policies in particular as priorities - reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism and Rewiring the Nation, which aims to accelerate transmission investment

BY Carl Kitchen Jun 02 2022
Inflation, interest rates, commodity prices and electricity prices

Inflation, interest rates, commodity prices and electricity prices

There has been growing concern about inflationary pressures, the prospect of higher interest rates and higher fuel costs for the economy generally. But what do these factors mean for electricity prices? We have taken a detailed look at the factors at play and how they are likely to determine and influence our power prices.

BY Peter Brook May 19 2022
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
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
Electrification and 'peakier' generation: The gas outlook

Electrification and 'peakier' generation: The gas outlook

When the market operator released its gas outlook for eastern and south-eastern Australia this week a lot of media focus was on the potential for a “gas squeeze”. But the assessment also flags the potential for electrification to impact gas consumption into the future, the continuing importance of gas generation and a likely change in peak demand periods for its output.

BY Carl Kitchen Mar 31 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
Virtual power: Fast becoming a reality?

Virtual power: Fast becoming a reality?

Virtual Power Plants have been identified as playing a key role in the future, particularly supported by the strong growth in rooftop solar. VPP trials show aggregated DER can provide not just generation, but demand response, contingency frequency control and ancillary services (FCAS) and potentially network services.

ACCUs take a very big tumble

ACCUs take a very big tumble

Earlier this year there was much discussion around the skyrocketing demand for Australian Carbon Credit Units. But a short time after, the price of carbon credits took a tumble, losing more than a third of their value in one day. Recent events in ACCU prices re-affirm how important it is for government and regulators to avoid surprising the market. It also exposes the fragility of “direct action” carbon markets.

BY Ben Skinner Mar 17 2022
NPI methodologies: How do generators calculate emissions?

NPI methodologies: How do generators calculate emissions?

Last year, the Australian Energy Council engaged Environment Resources Management to review the different ways industry calculates and reports its emissions to the National Pollutant Inventory. This review shows the emission estimation methods that electricity generators use for their emissions data.

BY Rhys Thomas Feb 24 2022
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
A 50 Hertz incentive: Double-sided Causer Pays

A 50 Hertz incentive: Double-sided Causer Pays

The Australian Energy Council has released a comprehensive study that explores a market mechanism to support Primary Frequency Response from generators and batteries. The four detailed reports – by Intelligent Energy Systems – was jointly supported by the AEC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

BY Ben Skinner & Peter Brook Feb 17 2022
International electricity prices: How does Australia compare?

International electricity prices: How does Australia compare?

Retail household electricity prices in the National Electricity Market are the lowest they have been for eight years, but how do the prices stack-up internationally? New Australian Energy Council analysis compares the prices against the world’s 38 OECD countries.

Finding a better energy deal: It's easy to switch

Finding a better energy deal: It's easy to switch

Engaging with the retail market is remarkably easy, and for people with a smart meter on the eastern seaboard of Australia, choosing a new electricity retail offer can be a simple choice.

BY Ben Barnes Nov 25 2021
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