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

Avalanche of renewables may threaten power grid

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 5-Dec-18

Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that clean energy will account for the bulk of investment in Australia’s electric power generation capacity in the next two decades or so. However, the International Energy Agency’s executive director Fatih Birol says the stability of Australia’s energy grid may be jeopardised if measures are not in place to ensure that it can cope with a big influx of renewables. Birol adds that increasing renewables’ share of the energy mix is not the sole solution to global warming. Labor proposes to implement the national energy guarantee as part of its climate change policy.

CORPORATES
INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED

Sparks fly in ex-PM’s energy war

Original article by Simon Benson, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 5-Dec-18

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says the federal government should implement his signature national energy policy, noting that it had been strongly supported by his successor Scott Morrison. Turnbull has also rejected suggestions that the government had shelved the NEG shortly before he was ousted, stating that Cabinet had agreed to put it on hold until there was sufficient support in parliament to pass the legislation. A spokesman for Turnbull has also denied claims that he has discussed the NEG with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten since the leadership spill.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, SMART ENERGY COUNCIL

Do NEG deal with Labor

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 27-Nov-18

Former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop says the federal government risks the same fate of the Victorian Liberals at the state election unless it takes action on the issue of climate change. Bishop says the coalition should seek a bipartisan deal with Labor regarding the National Energy Guarantee, as this would provide certainty for the energy industry. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says climate change is a "very real and serious issue" that has the government’s attention.

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

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

ALP’s $2000 handout in battery plan

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Nov-18

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will announce key details of Labor’s energy policy on 22 November. Amongst other things, Labor will provide households with annual income of less than $180,000 with a rebate of up to $2,000 to install electricity storage batteries. Labor’s aim is for one million households to have storage batteries by 2025, as part of its commitment to a 50 per cent renewable energy target. Labor will also flag plans to implement the federal government’s national energy guarantee if it wins the next election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

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