Morrison snuffs out Nationals’ power push

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 8-Mar-19

The federal government has rejected a bid by six National Party MPs to revive its "big stick" legislation prior to the upcoming election. The bill to force energy companies to divest assets if they fail to reduce electricity price was recently put on hold. The Nationals MPs also want the government to commit to underwriting a new power generation project in regional Queensland before the election. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the April 2019 Budget and flood relief measures for Queensland are his legislative priorities.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Nat MPs ignite energy war

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 7-Mar-19

Michelle Landry and George Christensen are among six National Party MPs who have called for the federal government to press ahead with legislation to force energy companies to divest assets if they fail to reduce electricity prices. The legislation was recently put on hold, but the six Nationals MPs want it to be debated by parliament in April. They also want the government to agree to underwrite a new power generation project in regional Queensland prior to the upcoming election, and some have expressed a preference for a clean coal plant.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

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

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

PM’s big stick to be stuck in Senate

Original article by Greg Bright
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Dec-18

The Senate’s standing committee on economics will examine the federal government’s bill to force electricity retailers to divest assets after Labor referred it to the upper house. The lower house debated the bill on 6 December, before parliament rose for the year, but further debate will not be possible until early April as the committee is not slated to report on the bill until 18 March. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has accused the government of trying to push the bill through the lower house with no scrutiny and minimal debate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS

Divestment powers put on fast track

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 6-Dec-18

Australia Energy Council CEO Sarah McNamara has flagged a possible legal challenge to the federal government’s legislation to force the divestment of energy assets. McNamara says there is still uncertainty regarding the constitutional validity of the bill, despite a compromise which will require the Federal Court to approve any application for asset sales. The bill is expected to be passed by the lower house after four crossbenchers backed a motion for it to be debated and voted upon before parliament rises for the year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Morrison’s energy big stick cut down to size

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Dec-18

The federal government has agreed to a compromise on its proposal to intervene in the electricity market. Following a Coalition joint partyroom meeting, the government has advised that the Federal Court will be required to approve any application for the divestment of energy assets if a power company is found to have manipulated electricity prices. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says the policy would deter investment in the energy sector and have no impact on electricity prices. Several Liberal backbenchers have also expressed concern about the policy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL

Strategy will shut four coal plants

Original article by Matthew Denholm
The Australian – Page: 6 : 23-Nov-18

Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable says Labor must explain how it will guarantee a reliable base-load power supply under its policy of a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030. She has warned that the policy could force four coal-fired power stations in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland to be shut down well before the 2030 target date, in addition to the Liddell plant in NSW. She adds that this would result in a big rise in electricity prices.

CORPORATES
MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION

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

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