Liddell is the oldest power station in Australia. It is particularly vulnerable to breaking down in hot weather when demand is high, and electricity is most needed. It has suffered four major breakdowns so far this year. Two of these were within two hours of peak demand on very hot summer days. The continued reliance on Liddell will lead to less reliable and more expensive energy in NSW and will undermine investment in new capacity.
Australian Energy Market Commission is conducting a Reliability Frameworks Review, which is looking at how to improve reliability in the National Electricity Market.
In our submission The Australia Institute argues that the best market reform under consideration by the Commission is wholesale demand response. Demand response allows energy consumers to reduce or delay their consumption of electricity and sell that conservation into the market.
Wholesale demand response could improve reliability and reduce costs by lowering the price of demand peaks. It may also reduce emissions by displacing fossil fuel generation during peaks of demand.
A new report from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows that a Federal Government proposal to protect households from high power prices is being undermined by the official electricity rule-setting body.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has proposed to change market rules to prevent energy retailers offering ‘discount’ deals that are actually more expensive than basic deals.
The report finds that Minister Frydenberg’s proposal has been watered down by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC).
A new report from The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program shows that a Federal Government policy to prevent energy consumers being tricked onto expensive ‘discount’ contracts is unlikely to work.
In his budget speech last week, Treasurer Scott Morrison said, ‘We will keep the pressure on the big energy companies to give you a better deal.’
Everyone is saying Tasmania is a becoming a clean energy powerhouse, so how do we make sure ordinary Tasmanians get a piece of the action?
[This article was first published in the Hobart Mercury on 9 Feb 2018 - here]
One of the best solutions would be for communities to become investors and take power back from corporations and governments.
How rooftop solar increases reliability and reduces electricity prices
Rooftop solar generates best on hot sunny days, exactly the conditions that see gas and coal generation at risk of breakdown. This summer rooftop solar reduced demand peaks in the National Electricity Market by over 2000 MW, while a breakdown at a major coal generator contributed to wholesale electricity prices hitting $12,000 MWh.
Hot days present the greatest challenge for the National Electricity Market (NEM) to supply our electricity needs.
A large national poll of 1,557 Australians, conducted by The Australia Institute, has shown strong support for an increase in Australia’s emissions reduction target to at least 45% by 2030.
When asked about the proposal to increase Australia’s emission reduction target from 26-28% up to 45% by 2030:
- In total, more than half (56%) thought the 45% emission reduction proposal was “about right” or “too low”. Less than a quarter (22%) of respondents said the 45% proposal was “too high”.
- More voters for every party thought it was either “about right” or “too low” than thought it was “too high”.
Over summer there were 16 major breakdowns at Victoria’s three brown coal plants, Loy Yang A, Loy Yang B and Yallourn. All of these breakdowns saw hundreds of megawatts of capacity withdrawn from the grid almost instantly. This made Victoria the standout state for power plant breakdowns.
Between the 15th and 21st of January, at the height of summer, there were six breakdowns, an average of one every day.
New analysis from the Australia institute has found that emissions from NT Fracking identified by the Fracking Inquiry would be equivalent to 100 times more than the emissions savings under the Northern Territory Government’s Roadmap to Renewables: 50% by 2030 policy.
Key findings include that NT fracking could result in emissions that:
Research from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program has found the Liddell power station to be a major contributor to the unreliability of the NSW grid.
53 breakdowns & failures of gas and coal generation have been tracked by the Climate & Energy Program’s Gas and Coal Watch between December 2017 and March 2018.