PM heads off revolt by Nationals

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 18-Feb-19

The National Party is very unhappy over the federal government’s shelving of legislation that would allow the forced divestment of energy companies’ assets. It is understood that some Nationals MPs were prepared to cross the floor of the House of Representatives and vote against the government on small business legislation. The government has moved to placate the Nationals by agreeing to support amendments to the legislation that will make it easier for smaller businesses to sue larger companies. The government has also indicated that it will support a Labor/Greens motion calling for a royal commission into the treatment of the disabled.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Business bashing poll on the cards

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Feb-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused Labor of siding with large energy companies over its role in having the federal government withdraw legislation to force them to sell assets if they fail to reduce electricity prices. With the Greens having secured the consent of Labor and six crossbenchers to have the legislation amended so that the government could not subsidise new coal-fired power stations, the government withdrew it, knowing that it would have been defeated in the House of Representatives. The government will now take the legislation, which has been attacked by energy companies and big business, to the upcoming election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL

Energy chief lashes dangerous bill

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 7-Feb-19

A Senate committee has been told that a bill to force the divestment of energy assets would create greater uncertainty in the electricity sector. EnergyAustralia MD Catherine Tanna has told the committee that the bill was poorly drafted and there had been insufficient consultation. Frontier Economics has warned of the proposed divestment powers’ impact on investment in the electricity sector. However, others have argued that the reforms are necessary to curb the market power of large vertically integrated electricity suppliers.

CORPORATES
ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FRONTIER ECONOMICS PTY LTD, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, SIMEC ENERGY

Policy vacuum won’t stop green power: energy chief

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 11-Jan-19

Wind turbine supplier Vestas Australia enjoyed a record year for orders in 2018, with over one gigawatt of wind turbines ordered in total. Peter Cowling, the head of Vestas Australia, predicts that the renewable energy sector will "muddle through" the lack of federal policy on climate and energy, due to the desire by companies to purchase clean power and the "cost competiveness" of solar and wind energy. Cowling says state governments’ renewable energy programs are helping to make up for a lack of federal policy.

CORPORATES
VESTAS – AUSTRALIAN WIND TECHNOLOGY PTY LTD

Feds slap down NSW over net zero emissions

Original article by Ben Potter, Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 20-Dec-18

Tensions between the federal government and its New South Wales counterpart have deepened following the Council of Australian Governments’ Energy Council meeting on 19 December. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor used a procedural rule to block a motion to develop a national pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. The motion was put forward by NSW Climate and Energy Minister Don Harwin and had the support of many state and territory energy ministers. Harwin says he will continue to push for his proposal.

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT FOR TRANSPORT, ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY

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