Gen-tailer’s 24pc profit lift too high: Taylor

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 26-Feb-19

EnergyAustralia has posted a 2018 net profit of $566m, which is 24 per cent higher than previously. The result was boosted by higher wholesale electricity prices, while parent company CLP Group says EnergyAustralia’s return on invested capital rose to 10.7 per cent, compared with just 3.3 per cent in 2014. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has responded to strong earnings growth in the electricity sector by again urging generator-retailers to provide price relief for customers.

CORPORATES
ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CLP GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Taylor blasts AGL’s high prices

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 8-Feb-19

Energy Minister Angus Taylor contends that Australians should be irate by AGL’s announcement that it has made a $537 million interim net profit. He claims that AGL and other energy companies are making big profits at a time when consumers and businesses are struggling with high power prices. Taylor has also stated that comments by energy companies that the federal government’s "big stick" legislation is deterring investment is false, noting that investment in the sector will exceed $25 billion over the three years to 2020.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Households may have to pay more to ease power crunches

Original article by Ben Potter, Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 29-Jan-19

The Grattan Institute’s energy program director Tony Wood has cautioned against an overreaction to the recent rolling power blackouts that impacted South Australia and Victoria. Charging consumers more to use air conditioners during extreme heat has been put forward as one solution to the problem of matching demand with supply during such weather conditions, as has simplifying the regulatory test for new transmission links.

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, TRANSGRID, SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP – ASX SKI, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SCHNEIDER AUSTRALIA

Heat stress: power crisis hits home

Original article by Perry Williams, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-Jan-19

The Australian Energy Market Operator asked power users in Victoria and South Australia to cut their electricity usage on 24 January as the electricity grid struggled to cope with soaring temperatures. Households were urged not to use appliances such as washing machines during peak periods, while Alcoa was asked to cut production at its aluminium smelter in Victoria for around two hours in the evening. Around 20,000 households in Adelaide were hit by blackouts, although no blackouts are expected on 25 January, with a cool change due for both states.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, ALCOA OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Heatwave triggers AEMO reserve shortfall warning

Original article by Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 15-Jan-19

A heatwave in Victoria has prompted the Australian Energy Market Operator to issue a reserve warning, amid fears that the state could be hit by blackouts. Energy experts state that the reserve warning is a signal from AEMO to the electricity market that it is seeking more capacity, and is not necessarily a cause for alarm. EnergyAustralia has stated that it has around 20 megawatts of capacity in Victoria that can be activated at times of high demand. Northern parts of Victoria have been subject to very high temperatures in recent days.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG

Policy vacuum won’t stop green power: energy chief

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 11-Jan-19

Wind turbine supplier Vestas Australia enjoyed a record year for orders in 2018, with over one gigawatt of wind turbines ordered in total. Peter Cowling, the head of Vestas Australia, predicts that the renewable energy sector will "muddle through" the lack of federal policy on climate and energy, due to the desire by companies to purchase clean power and the "cost competiveness" of solar and wind energy. Cowling says state governments’ renewable energy programs are helping to make up for a lack of federal policy.

CORPORATES
VESTAS – AUSTRALIAN WIND TECHNOLOGY PTY LTD

Quicker power as Origin upgrades

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 7-Jan-19

Origin Energy has upgraded its 224-megawatt Quarantine gas peaking plant in South Australia. As a result of the upgrade, which involved the fitting of an aero-derivative unit, it will now take Origin just five minutes to supply power to the national electricity grid, down from 15 minutes previously. Origin executive Greg Jarvis says the flexibility of its gas peaking power stations will help to support the growth in electricity being derived from renewable energy sources.

CORPORATES
ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, ENERGYQUEST PTY LTD, WOOD MACKENZIE

Electricity customer satisfaction continues to slide

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Oct-18

New research from Roy Morgan shows that 60.9% of Australians were "very" or "fairly" satisfied with their electricity provider in the year to September 2018, compared with 61.7% in the year to September 2017. Simply Energy had the highest customer satisfaction rating, with 67% of customers saying they were "very" or "fairly" satisfied, followed by Red Energy (66%) and Alinta (63%). The three biggest providers, Energy Australia, AGL and Origin, had relatively low satisfaction levels of 60%, 60% and 59% respectively. The latest "Customer Satisfaction – Electricity Providers Report" is based on Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey, which includes in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 14,000 interviews with people who rated their satisfaction with their electricity connection.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, SIMPLY ENERGY, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG

AGL could face savage hit to earnings

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 25-Oct-18

Morgan Stanley estimates that the federal government’s proposed measures to reduce electricity prices could potentially slash the 2020 EBITDA of AGL Energy and Origin Energy by up to $361m and $426m respectively. Matthew Blumberg of Hayberry Global Fund adds that government intervention in the electricity sector could in fact result in reduced competition and enable the major players to increase their market share.

CORPORATES
MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, HAYBERRY GLOBAL FUND, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CLP HOLDINGS LIMITED, CITIGROUP INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR

AGL defies Coalition over Liddell closure

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 27-Sep-18

AGL Energy’s interim CEO Brett Redman has reaffirmed its commitment to exiting coal-fired power generation and its proposed closure of the Liddell power station in 2022. However, Redman has told the company’s AGM that AGL will seek to work with the federal government to reduce electricity prices. Relations between AGL and the government became strained under former CEO Andy Vesey over the closure of Liddell, prompting Energy Minister Angus Taylor to warn of potential intervention if electricity retailers do not take action to reduce prices.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, ENVIRONMENT VICTORIA