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

Goal of 50pc renewables by 2030 on track

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 30-Nov-18

Green Energy Markets says renewable sources are likely to account for 50 per cent of Australia’s energy supply by 2030. The energy consultancy estimates that renewables could account for 78 per cent of the nation’s energy mix by 2030 if the current take-up rate of rooftop solar panels and investment in wind and solar farms is sustained. A recent report from the United Nations concluded that Australia and another seven G20 countries will not meet their 2030 renewable energy targets.

CORPORATES
GREEN ENERGY MARKETS PTY LTD, UNITED NATIONS, GROUP OF TWENTY (G-20), AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

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

State-owned Synergy is most trusted energy company

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 22-Oct-18

The latest Roy Morgan Net Trust Score survey for the energy sector shows that Western Australian government-owned Synergy is Australia’s most trusted energy company. It has the highest "net trust score" (NTS) of any provider, based on Roy Morgan data for August. The data shows that many of the larger, private-sector energy providers have high levels of trust among some consumers, but once other consumers’ distrust of them is taken into account their net trust score can be low. The most recent survey shows that two of the three largest energy suppliers, AGL and EnergyAustralia, had high levels of trust, but even higher levels of distrust among the energy consumers surveyed – putting them in the "top five" of low NTS scores. Origin Energy was the only one of the big three energy companies to record a positive NTS.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, SYNERGY, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG

Greens call for government energy retailer

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 26-Sep-18

The Australian Greens will propose increased government intervention in the electricity market to put downward pressure on prices, including the creation of a publicly-owned electricity retailer. Greens leader Richard Di Natale estimates that a taxpayer-funded electricity retailer could be established at cost of just $85m, while using it could save consumers around $200 a year on power costs. Di Natale will also advocate greater government intervention in other sectors in a National Press Club speech on 26 September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), SNOWY HYDRO LIMITED, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, LUMO ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Vesey to stay put as AGL profit surges

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 10-Aug-18

AGL Energy has posted a 2017-18 net profit of $1.59bn, compared with $539m previously. The electricity generator and retailer’s underlying profit rose by 28 per cent to $1.02bn. AGL has reported revenue of $12.8bn, a modest increase from the previous fiscal year, while shareholders will receive a partially franked final dividend of $0.63 per share. CEO Andy Vesey has refuted suggestions that he may step down, stressing that he will remain at the helm while AGL implements its three-year strategy.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Keep coal burning for long term

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 17-Jul-18

The Australian Energy Market Operator has urged against the premature closure of coal-fired power stations, saying they should remain operating for as long as possible before being replaced by renewable energy sources. AEMO stated that this will ensure stability in the national energy market, as well as providing energy at low cost. AEMO notes that 30 per cent of the NEM’s current coal resources are due to reach the end of their technical life within the next two decades. The federal government will try to convince the states and territories to adopt its National Energy Guarantee at a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments’ energy council in August.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

ACCC’s electricity reform could crush smaller retailers

Original article by Cole Latimer
The Age – Page: 18 : 13-Jul-18

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recommendations arising from its review into the retail electricity sector include the adoption of a "basic price offer" and changes to electricity discounting. Both recommendations are expected to impact most on smaller electricity retailers, and could force them to merge with larger rivals. Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute notes that the current level of competition has not necessarily benefited consumers, so they may not be worse off if there are fewer electricity retailers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, MACQUARIE WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Coal stays in energy fix

Original article by Andrew Tillett, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Jul-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has made 56 recommendations in the final report of its investigation into retail energy pricing. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated that the Federal Government may support the ACCC’s recommendation that the cost of new dispatchable electricity generation be subsidised by taxpayers. This could potentially include coal-fired power stations. Other recommendations include replacing electricity retailer’s standing offers with default offers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD, QUEENSLAND MEDIA CLUB, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT, LAND, WATER AND PLANNING

Power rip-offs: ACCC lines up energy giants

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 11-Jul-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will release the final report on its investigation into retail energy pricing on 11 July. The ACCC has accused large energy companies of abusing their market power, and it has proposed major changes to the National Electricity Market in order to reduce electricity prices. Amongst other things, the ACCC has recommended banning companies from participating in mergers if they boast a 20 per cent share of the electricity generation market. It has also recommended giving the Australian Energy Regulator more powers to combat market manipulation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT PRICING AND REGULATORY TRIBUNAL, QUEENSLAND MEDIA CLUB