EV rollout threat to power grid

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Apr-19

Energy Networks Australia has used a submission to a Senate inquiry to warn that the nation’s electricity grid may not be equipped to cope with the growing use of electric vehicles. The peak energy network body argued that incentives will be necessary to encourage consumers to recharge their electric cars during off-peak periods. Labor recently announced that it will require electric vehicles to account for 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030 if it wins the upcoming federal election.

CORPORATES
ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

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

Network CEOs strike back on power prices

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 7-Nov-18

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will meet with the CEOs of power retailers on 7 November, where he will give them until 1 January to begin reducing electricity prices. Meanwhile, the CEOs of electricity network operators argue that regulated network costs have been cut significantly. TransGrid CEO Paul Italiano says its costs now comprise only 3.4 per cent of the average household electricity bill in New South Wales. Electricity retailers in turn argue that network charges, renewable energy subsidies and wholesale tariffs are the major contributors to high electricity bills.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, TRANSGRID, AUSGRID PTY LTD, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ENDEAVOUR ENERGY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Renewables generate 19pc of grid already

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 6-Jul-18

Renewable energy was responsible for just under 19 per cent of National Electricity Market generation in the year to June 2018, according to the Australia Institute. The figure includes rooftop solar generation, or 15.7 per cent if rooftop solar generation is not included. The Australia Institute claims that new solar and wind generation that is being built or committed to under the federal government’s Renewable Energy Target and the Victorian government’s RET would be sufficient for the former to meet its 2030 emissions target without the need for a National Energy Guarantee.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED, REPUTEX AUSTRALIA PACIFIC PTY LTD, GREEN ENERGY MARKETS PTY LTD

ACCC has no power to break up AGL

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 24-May-18

AGL Energy’s market power has come under scrutiny in the wake of its refusal to back down on plans to shut down the Liddell coal-fired power station in 2022. However, former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels says neither the competition regulator or the federal government have the power to force a company to sell assets or take action to reduce its market share. Fels says there may be a case for adding divestiture powers to section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act, although the Harper review in 2015 rejected this in favour of an "effects test".

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, ORIGIN ENERGY ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, ENGIE SA, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD

CET might not reduce power bills, says Sims

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 17-Oct-17

The Australian Competition & Commission has released the interim report of its inquiry into electricity prices. The report concludes that electricity network costs were the main cause of a sharp rise in electricity prices over the last decade. Meanwhile, ACCC chairman Rod Sims says that although a Clean Energy Target could potentially contribute to downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices, this might be offset by the impact of renewable energy target subsidies on electricity prices for consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, JACOBS GROUP (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SCIENTIST, FRONTIER ECONOMICS PTY LTD

Coal mine strife stokes supply fears

Original article by Mark Ludlow, Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 21-Sep-17

A Glencore spokesman rejects suggestions that protracted enterprise agreement negotiations at its Hunter Valley coal mines has affected its ability to secure new supply contracts or fulfil existing contracts. Tony Maher of the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union claims that the industrial action has had a material impact on Glencore and resulted in a 20 per cent increase in the price of coal. There are concerns that the dispute could also result in higher electricity prices and affect electricity supply.

CORPORATES
GLENCORE PLC, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, PACIFIC NATIONAL PTY LTD, AURIZON HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX AZJ

DUET investors buoyed by CKI’s $7.3b offer

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 24 : 6-Dec-16

Shares in DUET Group closed at $2.74 on 5 December 2016, after reaching an intra-day high of $A2.82. Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure has proposed to pay $A3 per share for the energy infrastructure group, whose assets include the Dampier-Bunbury gas pipeline in Western Australia. However, DUET has noted that the offer is unsolicited and not binding, and there is no certainty that CKI will make a formal bid. Mark Busuttil of JP Morgan says the offer represents full value and a rival bid is unlikely.

CORPORATES
DUET GROUP – ASX DUE, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RARE INFRASTRUCTURE, ARGO INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX ARG, UNISUPER LIMITED, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, 4D INFRASTRUCTURE PTY LTD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, AUSGRID PTY LTD, STATE GRID CORPORATION OF CHINA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Origin Energy demerger chat emerges again

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 19-Aug-16

Australian-listed Origin Energy has posted a 2015-16 net loss of $A589m, compared with a loss of $A658m previously. The result was marred by after-tax impairment charges of $A515m, and the diversified energy group’s underlying profit was 41 per cent lower at $A354m. Meanwhile, Origin reduced its net debt by $A4bn to $A9.1bn due to a capital raising in 2015 and asset sales. CEO Grant King says a demerger of its LNG and energy retailing businesses remains a possibility.

CORPORATES
ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG LIMITED, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S CORPORATION