Friday, 15 August 2014

Unprecedented national energy glut in Australia

The former Gillard Government’s price on carbon, aka the ‘carbon tax,’ and its renewable energy policies were significant factors in turning the supply of electricity into a buyer’s market.

How long will it take the Abbott Government to turn this around so that there is no possibility for consumers to receive long-term relief from high retail prices?

ABC News 8 August 2014:

South-eastern Australia will not need to ramp up energy generation for the next 10 years, even under a worst-case scenario, a report says.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) report says Australia is facing an energy glut never before seen in the history of the national electricity market.

It raises serious questions about the ongoing viability of existing coal-fired power stations, but might also result in more pressure on the Federal Government to reduce the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

A spokesman for AEMO, Joe Adamo, says there is no additional generation required to maintain the reliability….

For the next year alone, Australia will produce up to 8,900 megawatts more than is needed. That is around four times the power produced in a year by Australia's largest coal-fired power station.

Electricity use in Australia has been falling now for about four years due to the take-up of rooftop solar systems, greater use of energy-efficient appliances and the downturn in some manufacturing industries that use lots of electricity.

The principal consultant of energy strategies with Pitt and Sherry, Hugh Sadler, says the upshot is that if the coal-fired power stations want to stay running, they will be competing in a buyer's market….

While all this has been going on, the Federal Government has been reviewing the Renewable Energy Target, which stipulates a certain amount of renewable electricity should be in use by 2020.

The big electricity companies have been lobbying the Government to axe or at least reduce the RET because renewables like wind and solar are hitting their bottom line….

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