Forrest in $68m renewables play takeover

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 5-Mar-20

Squadron Energy, the private company of mining magnate Andrew Forrest, has made a takeover bid for Windlab, a listed wind farm developer and operator. Squadron has teamed up with Federation Asset Management to offer $1 per share for Windlab, valuing the bid at $68.2m. Windlab shares rallied on 4 March, closing at $0.965; investors had paid $2 per share in its 2017 IPO. Squadron is expected to have a 75 per cent stake in Windlab if the deal proceeds.

CORPORATES
WINDLAB LIMITED – ASX WND, SQUADRON ENERGY PTY LTD, FEDERATION ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Spending on large-scale renewable energy in Australia plunges

Original article by Peter Hannam
The Age – Page: Online : 17-Jan-20

Bloomberg New Energy Finance research indicates investments in large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia fell by 56 per cent in 2019. The decline in renewable energy investment in Australia was at odds with trends globally, and can be attributed to a lack of long-term policy certainty at the federal level. Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor says reducing the cost of storage and backup will help to ensure continued growth in new renewable investment.

CORPORATES
BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE,{SPAC}AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Power cut plan no long-term energy fix

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Jan-20

The Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) scheme is not the solution to Australia’s power supply problems during the summer months. This is according to Audrey Zibelman, the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator, which manages the RERT. Under the RERT, which costs power costumers as much as $40 million a summer, AEMO pays large power users to cut their production in an effort to avoid blackouts. The Energy Security Board is investigating a longer-term solution to the RERT as part of its 2025 market design review.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD

Destroyed lines could cause days of blackouts

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 3-Jan-20

January 4 is looming as a concerning day for power supplies in New South Wales and Victoria, due to the combination of forecast high temperatures and ongoing bushfires. Power outages in those areas impacted by bushfires could last for another week, with many electricity lines destroyed by the fires inaccessible to repair crews. Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad says the Australian Energy Market Operator has been in close contact with generation and transmission companies to ensure everything possible has been done to ensure power remains available on 4 January.

CORPORATES
SNOWY HYDRO LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED

Solar export vision to be put to the test

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 2-Jan-20

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub project in Western Australia is one of a number of large projects that has the potential to make Australia a major solar power exporter. Backed by Macquarie Group, the project will use wind and solar to separate hydrogen from water. As much as 15 gigawatts of wind and solar generation across the East Pilbara will provide up to 12 gigawatts for green hydrogen production and three gigawatts of power for energy users in the Pilbara. Another large project is the $22 billion Sun Cable project, which will export solar power to Singapore via undersea cable.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Cheaper power to lift big companies

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Dec-19

Analysis of data from the Australian ­Energy Market Operator shows that wholesale electricity prices in Victoria have fallen by 39 per cent year-on-year in December, and by 36 per cent in New South Wales. South Australia has recorded the smallest fall in wholesale prices, at just three per cent. Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute says electricity prices are likely to fall further in 2020 and 2021. The power costs of heavy electricity users will fall immediately, although the majority of households and small businesses are on supply contracts that are based on annual price changes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AGL ELECTRICITY (VICTORIA) PTY LTD, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, VICTORIA. ESSENTIAL SERVICES COMMISSION

Powershop’s high satisfaction rating means customers less likely to switch power provider

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 27-Nov-19

Powershop has won the Roy Morgan Electricity Provider of the Month Award for October 2019, with a customer satisfaction rating of 80%. It was followed by Momentum Energy (73%), Red Energy (73%), Lumo Energy (69%) and Alinta Energy (69%). Powershop’s leading rating means its customers are less likely to switch to a competitor. Grouping electricity customers into ‘satisfied’ and ‘dissatisfied’ shows clear differences in the likelihood of them switching providers. A much larger proportion of dissatisfied customers (24%) said they were likely to switch providers compared with satisfied customers (7.5%), while more of the satisfied customers (73%) said they were unlikely to switch than dissatisfied customers (58.3%). Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says Powershop’s satisfaction rating is a strong result, given the ongoing political and media attention surrounding electricity providers. These customer satisfaction ratings have been drawn from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 Australians each week in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, POWERSHOP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MOMENTUM ENERGY PTY LTD, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, LUMO ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Doubts remain as AGL embraces costly transition to energy future

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 1-Nov-19

Macquarie Wealth Management has reiterated its ‘underperform’ rating on AGL Energy, following the power company’s annual investor briefing. Analysts note that AGL will have to spend billions on clean energy sources to replace the coal and gas-fired power stations that it intends to close over the next few years. RBC Capital Markets has a ‘sector perform’ recommendation on AGL, with analyst James Nevin saying AGL appears to be positioning itself to respond to the changing and uncertain market.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, MACQUARIE WEALTH MANAGEMENT, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

Don’t extend coal power plants: Origin

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 25-Oct-19

Frank Calabria will use a speech to a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney on 25 October to warn against extending the life of coal power plants without the government providing a ‘carbon signal’. Calabria, who is the CEO of Origin Energy, will also call for an end to the ongoing energy war. He will say that the government needs to put an end to ‘quick fixes’ so far as the energy policy ‘puzzle’ is concerned, and focus instead on long-term solutions.

CORPORATES
ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA

Older coal-fired power stations are better bet

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 11-Oct-19

Trevor St Baker contends that there is no ‘natural life’ for a coal-fired power station. St Baker, who was speaking at a national energy summit on 10 November, is the co-owner of the coal-fired Vale power station in New South Wales; he says keeping such stations operating for longer is better than taking a gamble on new technologies such as high-efficiency low emissions plants or carbon capture and storage. Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute told the summit that coal-fired power stations should be allowed to reach the end of their natural life.

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL