Price of electricity the lowest since 2012

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 7 : 28-Apr-21

Data from the Australian Energy Market Operator shows that wholesale electricity prices fell to the lowest level since 2012 during the first three months of 2021. The wholesale price in New South Wales averaged $38 per megawatt hour, compared with $86MWh for the March 2020 quarter; the wholesale price in Victoria averaged $25MWh, down from $79MWh previously. Demand for electricity fell during the quarter due to factors such as the increase in solar power generation and the lowest average temperatures for the period since 2012.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED

Coalition rebuffed over need for coal-fired power stations

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Apr-21

A report from the Grattan Institute has concluded that gas will play a key as Australia transitions to a net-zero emissions electricity grid. The report also cautions against shifting to complete reliance on renewables; it contends that the electricity grid can shift to 70-90 per cent renewables in the 2040s with no major impact on the affordability or reliability of the electricity system. Grattan Institute director Tony Wood adds that there is no need to build new coal-fired power stations or to refurbish existing ones to extend their operational life.

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Extra power locked in for summer

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 26 : 27-Nov-20

The Australian Energy Market Operator has released its ‘summer readiness’ plan for the power market. AEMO has contracted over 1,900 megawatts of extra emergency power generating capacity for the 2020-21 summer peak, although heatwave and bushfire conditions are not expected to be as severe as in 2019-20. AEMO COO Michael Gatt notes that heatwaves and bushfires remain a "prominent risk", while predicted El Nino weather patterns means there is an increased risk of tropical cyclones and flooding.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED

AGL buys Amaysim energy unit

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 18 : 1-Sep-20

AGL Energy’s customer base will increase by 215,000 to 4.2 million following a deal to buy Click Energy from listed telco Amaysim. The $115m deal will be financed via AGL’s existing debt facilities. Amaysim CEO Peter O’Connell says trading conditions in the electricity sector are challenging at present, with a further increase in bad debts likely. Meanwhile, Amaysim has posted a 2019-20 underlying profit of $600,000; this follows a $7.1m loss previously.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AMAYSIM AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX AYS, CLICK ENERGY

Utility companies have a significant consumer distrust problem

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-May-20

As part of its extensive, continuous measurement of consumer trust and distrust in Australia, Roy Morgan tracks 44 brands in the Utilities sector: gas, electricity and water providers. The latest results for March 2020 show the amount of distrust felt towards Utilities brands as a group significantly outweighs the trust they generate, resulting in the industry falling deep into Net Distrust territory – ranked 22nd of 25 industry sectors. This finding will undoubtedly concern many in the sector, particularly with federal and state energy watchdogs monitoring providers more closely than ever, given the number of customers now experiencing financial hardship. There are exceptions among the 44 brands being tracked: Red Energy, Aurora and Simply Energy are all trusted brands, while Alinta Energy has a neutral score. But some of Australia’s biggest energy brands are its most distrusted.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, AURORA ENERGY PTY LTD, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Virus shorts electricity demand

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 16-Apr-20

RepuTex has forecast that demand across Australia’s national electricity market will fall by 22.5 per cent in May due to the coronavirus lockdown. The consultancy also warns that wholesale electricity spot prices could fall below $40 per megawatt hour, which in turn could result in high-cost coal-fired power stations operating at a loss. The wholesale spot price has already fallen to around $45/MWh in most states, although RepuTex says this could rise to around $60/MWh in June if lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

CORPORATES
REPUTEX AUSTRALIA PACIFIC PTY LTD

Forrest in $68m renewables play takeover

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 5-Mar-20

Squadron Energy, the private company of mining magnate Andrew Forrest, has made a takeover bid for Windlab, a listed wind farm developer and operator. Squadron has teamed up with Federation Asset Management to offer $1 per share for Windlab, valuing the bid at $68.2m. Windlab shares rallied on 4 March, closing at $0.965; investors had paid $2 per share in its 2017 IPO. Squadron is expected to have a 75 per cent stake in Windlab if the deal proceeds.

CORPORATES
WINDLAB LIMITED – ASX WND, SQUADRON ENERGY PTY LTD, FEDERATION ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Industry group wants climate policy on agenda in wake of bushfires

Original article by Mike Foley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will hold a roundtable meeting with representatives of the nation’s power companies on 23 January. They will discuss the industry’s response to the bushfires crisis. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the meeting should also address the issue of climate change. Craig Memery of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says the agenda should include strategies to make the energy grid more resilient while avoiding a significant impost on consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE

Pumped hydro next on Morrison’s energy list

Original article by Greg Brown, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Dec-19

The federal government has given in-principle approval for the construction of two new gas-fired power plants under its Underwriting New Generation Investments. APA Group will build a 220MW gas plant in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong; the government will also underwrite a 132MW gas plant in the Queensland town of Gatton. The government is also expected to underwrite at least one of three proposed pumped-hydro projects in South Australia that were short-listed for the scheme.

CORPORATES
APA GROUP – ASX APA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

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