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

AGL opts to hold on to coal plants

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 21 : 20-Sep-19

AGL Energy chairman Graeme Hunt has noted the Paris climate accord is one between countries, and not that one that binds companies. He was commenting on a resolution put by activist group Market Forces to its AGM on 19 September that called on AGL to close its coal-fired power stations by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement to restrict global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels; 30 per cent of AGL shareholders voted in favour of the resolution. AGL stated that the transition away from coal-fired generation needs to be done in an orderly fashion

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, MARKET FORCES

Coal still produces most of Australia’s electricity, report finds

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 13-Sep-19

Fossil fuels accounted for 81 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation in 2018, according to a report to be released on 13 September. The Department of Environment and Energy’s Australian Energy Update shows that coal was the dominant producer of electricity, accounting for 60 per cent of generation, and that over 75 per cent of electricity generation in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria was coal-fired. Despite the continued dominance of fossil fuels when it comes to electricity generation, Energy Minister Angus Taylor says Australia leads the world in terms of clean energy investment.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Neoen mulls bet on SA renewable

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 12-Sep-19

French renewable energy developer Neoen has unveiled plans for a large renewable facility in South Australia. The Goyder South plant will involve up to 1200 megawatts of wind power, 600 MW of solar and 900 MW of battery storage. The facility will be constructed in at least three stages, with the initial stage requiring an investment of up to $1 billion. The proposed battery is nine times as big as the Tesla battery at Neoen’s Hornsdale site, which is around 80 kilometres away. Full development of the Goyder South plant is dependent on the proposed $1.5 billion interconnector cable with New South Wales proceeding.

CORPORATES
NEOEN TESLA INCORPORATED

Powershop still number one in electricity satisfaction, despite losing spark in recent months

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 3-Sep-19

Powershop has won the Roy Morgan Electricity Provider of the Month Award for July 2019, with a customer satisfaction rating of 78%. Powershop has won the past seven monthly awards, remaining unbeaten in 2019. Powershop was followed by Lumo Energy (71%), Simply Energy (70%) and Click Energy (70%). Powershop maintained its number one position in customer satisfaction, despite recording the largest decline in ratings of any leading provider, falling by 9% since its rating of 87% in January. Over the same period, Lumo Energy, Simply Energy and Click Energy all fell by 4%, Red Energy remained steady and Alinta Energy increased its rating by 1%. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week and over 50,000 each year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, POWERSHOP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, LUMO ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SIMPLY ENERGY, CLICK ENERGY

AGL eyes alternatives as Vocus off the table

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 9-Aug-19

AGL Energy has posted a 2018-19 net profit of $905m, which is 42.8 per cent lower than previously. Its underlying profit after tax rose by 2.2 per cent to $1.04bn. AGL has forecast that its profit will be within the range of $780m and $860m in 2019-20, citing factor such as lower electricity prices, higher fuel costs and the impact of an outage at its Loy Yang A generator in Victoria. Meanwhile, CEO Brett Redman says AGL remains open to expanding into the data services sector, despite abandoning a bid for Vocus Group earlier in 2019.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, PERTH ENERGY PTY LTD, VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

AGL under pump to hasten coal closures

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 27 : 18-Jul-19

Market Forces will press for AGL Energy to close its Loy Yang A and Bayswater coal-fired power stations ahead of schedule. The environmental activist group will put a resolution to AGL’s annual meeting in September, calling for both plants to be shut down in 2030. Will van de Pol of Market Forces says AGL’s plans to keep the plants operating well beyond this date are at odds with its stated support for the Paris climate agreement. Loy Yang A is slated to close in 2048, and Bayswater is due to be shut down in 2035.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, MARKET FORCES, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, INVESTOR GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Hydro project wins $610m federal loan

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 12-Jul-19

Genex Power will receive a $610m loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for its proposed pumped hydro project in Queensland. NAIF CEO Laurie Walker notes that the project will provide northern Queensland with an additional 250 megawatts of power, with EnergyAustralia in the process of concluding a deal to receive electricity from the project. The concessional loan is the largest allocation made by the $5 billion NAIF to date.

CORPORATES
GENEX POWER LIMITED – ASX GNX, NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY