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Queensland’s pumped hydro plans

Queensland’s pumped hydro plans

In September 2022, then Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced plans to construct two new pumped hydro projects: Borumba Dam – a 2GW facility located in Imbil, 50km west of Noosa, and the Pioneer/Burdekin facility which plans to offer 5GW of storage, located 75km west of McKay. We take a look at pumped hydro and how it can support the energy transition.

BY Tom Monaghan Apr 11 2024
CER and a changing energy landscape

CER and a changing energy landscape

Australia’s energy landscape is being transformed by the proliferation of consumer energy resources (CER). Already, around one in three Australian homes have solar panels, with one in two expected by 2040, while more than 50,000 small-scale battery systems have been installed in the past seven years. Australia is also predicted to have 22 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2050. A big part of Australia’s energy future is CER, and if well integrated, there will be positive outcomes for all market participants and flow-on benefits for consumers. We take a look at what is being proposed.

BY David Markham Mar 14 2024
High Profile: Calculating consumption for DMO

High Profile: Calculating consumption for DMO

A draft decision on the next Default Market Offer (DMO) – the regulated price set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) – is expected soon, and there has already been speculation on what it might be. There is interest in particular around the AER seeking stakeholder views on whether the way it calculates the load profile for energy users should change, to take into account smart meter data. We take a look at what is proposed and why.

BY Carl Kitchen Mar 14 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
Energy Dynamics Report - A Tale of Minimum Operational Demand and Wholesale Price declines

Energy Dynamics Report - A Tale of Minimum Operational Demand and Wholesale Price declines

The third quarter saw significant price declines compared with the corresponding quarter in 2022 right across the NEM. At the same time with increased output from solar and wind generation inin Queensland’s case, minimum operational demand records were set or equaled in every region. The quarter also saw the highest-ever level of negative price intervals with all regions showing an increase. We dive in to the pricing and operational demand detail of AEMO’s Q3 Quarterly Energy Dynamics Report.

BY Australian Energy Council Nov 09 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
Reports highlight ongoing challenge of transition

Reports highlight ongoing challenge of transition

Amidst all the discussion of the energy transition two new reports looking at energy use and options for the energy transition have highlighted the continued major challenge to reduce overall carbon emissions. We take a look at the '2023 statistical review of world energy' and the ‘How to make net zero happen’ reports side by side to provide a picture of where energy consumption has been, and where it may be going in the future and the implications for the energy sector.

BY Australian Energy Council Jul 20 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
Why it’s important to have good standards

Why it’s important to have good standards

There is so much going on in the Consumer Energy Resources (CER) space it’s difficult to keep track. There’s record uptake of rooftop solar, VPP trials, advanced trials for a CER marketplace. Market bodies and regulators are making efforts to enable consumer uptake of CER with reforms and technical standards. Those standards will strongly influence how CER operate, interact with the grid and what benefit owners ultimately derive. Here we take a closer look at how they work and consider why it’s important for stakeholders to get involved.

BY David Markham May 25 2023
Energy Outlook points to exponential electricity growth

Energy Outlook points to exponential electricity growth

Increasing levels of electrification and rising living standards globally will see an exponential growth in the demand for electricity, according to projections in BP’s latest energy assessment. BP’s Energy Outlook is updated annually to provide useful insights in the energy transition globally. It considers three scenarios which are designed to consider the full range of potential outcomes into the future and resulting carbon impacts. We take a look at what this latest review finds.

BY Mitchell Cutting Apr 27 2023
Victoria to NSW Interconnector, a functionally impaired asset?

Victoria to NSW Interconnector, a functionally impaired asset?

In recent times daytime northern flow limits on the Victoria to NSW Interconnector (VNI) have dramatically reduced. It is particularly noticeable when compared with the flows from previous years. As a result VNI’s daily constraint profile looks more like the daily generation profile of a solar farm. Constraints on VNI northward flows are resulting in significant dispatch inefficiencies and with it costs. We take a closer look.

BY Peter Brook Mar 23 2023
Deep Dive: 2022 Victorian Election Commitments

Deep Dive: 2022 Victorian Election Commitments

Recent data shows that energy is an issue that more and more voters are conscious of as they consider which politicians are best to lead us. The latest True Issues Survey conducted by JWS Research and published in the Australian Financial Review shows that 39% of people believe that energy is one of the most important issue the government should focus on, compared with 20% in March. This movement comes against a background of an energy crisis in June precipitating higher wholesale energy prices and the effects beginning to filter through to consumer bills.

BY Australian Energy Council Nov 24 2022
Rooftop solar PV with a battery: does it stack up?

Rooftop solar PV with a battery: does it stack up?

As the price reduces and technology improves, rooftop solar PV with battery storage is increasingly likely to be part of Australia’s transition to renewable energy. A key for many households will be the payback period. But, does the cost-benefit analysis stack up currently and how is it likely to change in future? We take a look at the types of batteries available, their costs and the incentives that are likely to encourage more households to take-up batteries with solar installations.

BY Mitchell Cutting Nov 10 2022
Solar's China Syndrome?

Solar's China Syndrome?

A recent report by the International Energy Agency has highlighted the dominant role of China in the world’s solar supply chain. The transition underway in the global energy market will not be immune from this dominance. The IEA estimates one out of every seven panels produced internationally now comes from a single manufacturing site in China. As we have seen recently with Russia’s gas supplies, a supply chain dependency can be extremely disruptive. So, are there options to avoid this?

BY Australian Energy Council Aug 11 2022
CSIRO does the maths: RE + Integration

CSIRO does the maths: RE + Integration

The CSIRO’s latest assessment of the cost of various generating technologies shows renewables remain the cheapest new build, even when integration costs for additional transmission, storage and synchronous condensers are included. We take a closer look at the numbers and what the GenCost report finds.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 14 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
Renewables go from strength to strength

Renewables go from strength to strength

The Clean Energy Regulator's latest assessment of the carbon market has underscored the fact that renewables are going from strength to strength.

BY Australian Energy Council Dec 09 2021
Solar supply chain costs: A passing cloud?

Solar supply chain costs: A passing cloud?

For the first time in at least a decade the cost of solar PV to end users has been rising. This has been driven by an increase in raw material costs, and polysilicon in particular, which has reversed the trend of continuously falling lower prices for solar that we have come to expect.

BY Australian Energy Council Jul 08 2021
Increases in negative prices: Is it a positive?

Increases in negative prices: Is it a positive?

If there's one thing the Australian Energy Regulator’s State of the Energy Market report has reminded us, it’s that the National Electricity Market can be a wild ride at times. After the NEM achieved the lowest first quarter for wholesale prices since 2012, the last few months have seen an increase in price volatility.

BY Carl Kitchen Jul 08 2021
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