Sep-21 Energy Market News

EnergyByte
EnergyByte
Sep-21 Energy Market News

This month has been dominated by news relating to Renewables and Financial aspects of the industry.

Welcome to our summary of energy market news for the month of September. This month has been dominated by news relating to Renewables and Financial aspects of the industry.  The other sections covered include:

  • Generation
  • Gas Market
  • Policy and Regulation
  • Climate

Renewables

  1. Renewables to dominate market (1 Sept) AEMO's new boss, Daniel Westerman has outlined an ambitious plan for the grid to be able to handle instances of 100 per cent renewables by 2050
  2. Legislation sees offshore wind farms one step closer (2 Sept) New legislation introduced into Parliament have paved the way for the introduction of Australia's first offshore wind farm, the Star of the South in Victoria's south-east
  3. New low-cost solar hydrogen efficiency record set by Australian researchers (4 Sept) By combining Australian-grown innovation in next-generation solar cells and electrolysis a team of Australian researchers have set a new world efficiency record for the direct production of renewable hydrogen from solar energy
  4. UK's uncomfortable energy transition is a lesson for all (9 Sept) Britain's perfect storm of record high energy prices, shutting down of wind farms amidst uncharacteristic calm weather and a global natural gas shortage should be a lesson for Australia as restructure plans for the NEM begin in earnest
  5. SA to be first GW scale grid to meet all demand with rooftop solar (9 Sept) Some time in the next month, South Australia expects to become the first gigawatt scale grid in the world to meet all of its demand just from rooftop solar
  6. Central Qld huge wind, solar and battery project proposal (9 Sept) The first stage of the 400MW wind, 200MW solar and 300MW big battery Moah Creek Renewable Energy Project in central Queensland has been unveiled
  7. Tasmanian wind farm turbine numbers trimmed by Epuron (9 Sept) A new revision for the proposed layout of the 300MW wind farm in Tasmania's central highlands sees three less turbines included by renewables developer Epuron
  8. New record low achieved in WA as rooftop solar delivers 62% of total generation (9 Sept) A new record low of "operational demand" has occurred in Western Australia following a weekend that saw rooftop solar reach a peak of 62 per cent of total generation in the main grid
  9. MOU signed between Port of Townsville for South Korea green hydrogen export (9 Sept) A memorandum of understanding between Ark Energy and the Port of Townsville will result in a plan to export up to 200,000 yearly of Queensland made renewable hydrogen to South Korea
  10. Former oil refinery being considered as industrial renewable hydrogen hub by BP (9 Sept) BP Australia and Macquarie Capital are undertaking a feasibility study into the production of green hydrogen at the recently shuttered Kwinana refinery, south of Perth, Western Australia
  11. NSW's large scale solar production to overtake Sunshine State (9 Sept) New data from analysts at Rystad Energy, expects that NSW will overtake the Sunshine state's previous record for production ton of electricity from large scale solar
  12. Renewables share reaches 57.3 per cent, record tumbles (9 Sept) A recent Sunday in early September, saw the share of renewable energy in Australia's main grid reach a record 57.3 per cent
  13. ARENA boss chief believes commercial scale hydrogen years away (10 Sept) Darren Miller, ARENA chief executive believes commercial scale production of hydrogen may still be at least a decade away while gas, coal and pumped hydro generation will become more challenging to develop in Australia
  14. 20 per cent of Victoria to be powered by Star of the South wind farm (14 Sept) The chief executive of the $10bn Star of the South wind farm off Victoria's Gippsland coast believes it is capable of supply 20 per cent of the state's electricity needs once the Yallourn coal plant closes
  15. Minimum demand of rooftop solar sent to coal dependent NSW (14 Sept) The afternoon of Saturday September 10th saw the growing share of rooftop solar pushed minimal demand to a record low of 5,065MW
  16. Cannon Brooke backed Australian solar innovator claims world efficiency record (14 Sept) A new world record for solar cell efficiency has been claimed by Sydney based solar start-up SunDrive, a venture backed by billionaire Mike Cannon Brookes and ARENA
  17. North Queensland wind farm push by Epuron (14 Sept) A local community meeting in north Queensland will allow Epuron to outline its plan to develop a 570MW wind farm within the planned Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone
  18. New solar export rules trial as South Australia head to 100 per cent solar (14 Sept) In a "world leading" trial of "flexible exports" South Australia is looking at new rules to assist in handling congestion and over production in certain parts of the grid
  19. With 58.3 per cent on main grid, Australia smashes another renewables record (14 Sept) A new Australian record for the share of renewables on its main grid has been reached with a record high 58.3 per cent on a recent Thursday lunch time
  20. Energy hub proposal for Central Queensland (14 Sept) Energy Estate and renewable energy developer RES have announced plans for the first stage of the Moah Creek Renewable Energy Project in central Queensland
  21. APA partners Queensland green hydrogen project ( 16 Sept) A plan to create Queensland biggest green hydrogen project has seen gas pipeline giant APA joining Australian and Japanese partners in a feasibility study to consider export of green hydrogen to Japan by 2026
  22. French energy EDF eyes off Hunter Valley solar assets (17 Sept) Looking to build up its portfolio of large scale solar assets, French energy giant EDF has its sights set on the new renewable energy zone proposed for the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales
  23. Australia sees launch of new renewables player (17 Sept) Arriving with an executive team of seasoned energy market players and a ready-made armoury of solar, wind and battery storage projects, ACE Power has launched in Australia
  24. ETP solar farm project's golden milestone (17 Sept) Melbourne's ETP solar farm reached a significant milestone this week with the installation of the first row of solar panels at the 18MW facility
  25. Regional Victoria to welcome off grid solar powered data centre (17 Sept) The central Victorian town of Bendigo is to welcome the state's first off-grid data centre, fitted with 1MW of solar and 48 hour battery and UPS battery technology and expected to be up and running by November
  26. Origin Energy looking to get into Tasmania's green hydrogen market (20 Sept) Origin Energy is set to jump on board the green hydrogen bandwagon in Tasmania to gain a foothold in the booming industry
  27. As renewables deals heat up, Genex Power calls in defence advisers (23 Sept) Genex Power has appointed an adviser as it sizes up potential offers from deep pocked suitors
  28. Murra Warra "Australia's largest" wind farm installation (23 Sept) Following the installation of the 209MW second stage of the Murra Warra wind farm in western Victoria, allows Victoria to claim the rights to the largest wind turbine in Australia
  29. Household battery uptake spike due to solar feed-in tariffs (29 Sept) With energy retailers dropping the subsidies they give solar households for excess power, many Australians are becoming increasingly frustrated with some hitting back by reducing their reliance on these companies and installing household batteries

Storage

  1. Melton's $800m battery project eyed off by investors (9 Sept) A huge 1.6 GWh battery project in Melton aimed at solving the problem of power grid instability in Melbourne's outer north-west, is attracting interest from large energy producers and infrastructure investors
  2. Charge-up of Qld's first big standalone battery (14 Sept) Queensland's first stand-alone big battery, the 100MW/150MWh Wandoan South facility has started operations, charging and discharging for the first time during its commissioning process
  3. EnergyAustralia's biggest battery calls for partners (17 Sept) EnergyAustralia is seeking a project partner for the Wooreen Energy Storage System, located next to the Jeeralang gas power station in LaTrobe Valley
  4. AER sues Hornsdale Power Reserve (22 Sept) The company that owns the Tesla big battery in South Australia, Hornsdale Power Reserve, is being sued by the Australian Energy Regulator for failing to deliver crucial grid stability services
  5. Rapid rollout of grid-scale batteries after rocky start (28 Sept) Following a slow and somewhat bumpy start, more than 20 large-scale battery storage projects are being constructed in South Australia's Far north in an industry that has matured considerably since its early beginnings
  6. Market debut sees Li-S Energy soar (29 Sept) On its first day of trade, Brisbane battery developer Li-S Energy has soared to become the nation's latest $1bn-plus company
  7. Tesla giant battery fire likely caused by cooling system leak (29 Sept) Investigations by Energy Safe Victoria has found the July blaze at Victorian Big Battery site in Moorabool, near Geelong was "most likely" caused by a leak in the Megapack cooling system
  8. Gelion partners with Battery Energy for "safe and durable" zinc-bromide battery (14 Sept) University of Sydney spin-off Gelion will partner with Sydney based battery manufacturer Battery Energy to commercialise an innovative non-flow zinc-bromide battery technology
  9. Japanese company's plan to transfer offshore wind power (14 Sept) A bold plan to build autonomous battery ships to transfer offshore wind electricity is being considered by Japanese grid-scale battery company PowerX

Generation

  1. Early coal plant closure warnings (2 Sept) NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean has warned of potential early coal plant closures as owners are under increasing financial pressure and concerns for fossil fuel profitability
  2. Energy transition turf wars over who owns battery storage (4 Sept) Ever popular battery storage has shone a spotlight on the issue of what is a generation asset and what is a network asset and the ownership of batteries
  3. Chinese, Indian economies gather steam as resurgent coal hits new high (6 Sept) Record high thermal coal prices driven by demand from India, Japan, South Korea and Asian buyers continues despite efforts to de-carbonise the global economy
  4. From 10 year obscurity Uranium re-emerges (11 Sept) The spot price of physical uranium has reached its highest level in seven years, following a buying frenzy thanks to the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust (SPUT)
  5. Early closure of Mt Piper coal plant by EnergyAustralia (23 Sept) As part of its plan to exit from coal, EnergyAustralia has brought forward the closure of its Mount Piper coal-fired power station in Lithgow, NSW by three years

Gas Market

  1. More oil and gas mergers expected: Santos (2 Sept) Failure to build new revenue streams will result in more mergers within the oil and gas industry, according to Santos director, Yasmin Allen
  2. As iron slumps, LNG export prices surge to record levels (7th Sept) Liquefied natural gas from three Queensland plants have soared to the highest volumes on record over July and August with exports at record rates
  3. Senex CEO finds no reason for double-digit gas prices (10 Sept) Despite skyrocketing Asian LNG prices, Senex Energy chief Ian Davies believes that contract gas should be available throughout the price cycle at between $7 and $9 a gigajoule
  4. Demand risk from soaring LNG prices in Asia (10 Sept) Research house Fitch Solutions has warned that soaring Asian LNG prices may blunt demand for gas exporters as China and Japan seek cheaper fuel alternatives or reduce industrial production
  5. AGL-Cooper Energy gas deal halved (10 Sept) Amid ongoing constraints, AGL has halved the level of gas supplies under a new Sole field contract with Cooper Energy
  6. Snowy Hydro Hunter gas plant adds hydrogen (20 Sept) NSW's Kurri Kurri Snowy Hydro gas plant will be able to run on 15 per cent hydrogen after signing a supply deal with Mitsubishi Power as part of its transition from coal to renewables
  7. BP Singapore and Beach Energy ink 5 year LNG deal (28 Sept) A five year deal to supply LNG to BP Singapore has been completed by Beach Energy

Financial

  1. Ampol looking closely at Energy Australia's renewable energy business (1 Sept) Fuel retailer Ampol is considering a deal with Energy Australia with a nod to its renewable energy business
  2. Morrison Co seeks buyer for its Macarthur Wind Farm (2 Sept) Australia's second biggest wind farm, Macarthur Wind farm is seeking a buyer with indicative bids due late September or early October
  3. $1bn portfolio of Australian solar farms being considered by Canadian pension fund, OMERS (2 Sept) Previously struggling to find a buyer for its billion portfolio of Australian solar farms, Spain's Fotowatio Renewables Ventures are looking at a deal with Canadian pension fund, OMERS with a rebooted auction underway
  4. Coal exposure emissions plan for IFM Investors (7 Sept) As part of its plan to cut emissions by 2030, IFM Investors will carve off coal exposure from its global infrastructure portfolio
  5. Epuron on the market (7 Sept) Wind and solar energy developer Epuron has hired investment bank Lazard to sell its Australian renewable energy business Epuron
  6. Ampol flags interest in electricity market debut (8 Sept) Fuel retailer, Ampol has called in the bankers to help with due diligence as it considers dipping its toes into the electricity market pool
  7. AGL Energy faces mounting pressure on zero emission disclosure (9 Sept) Climate Action 100+ group has upped the pressure for AGL Energy to boost disclosure of clients net zero emissions goals
  8. JP Morgan rerating energy stocks (10 Sept) JP Morgan are gearing up for a rerating of ASX-listed energy companies despite ESG headwinds
  9. $2.1bn merger between Santos and Oil Search (11 Sept) A $2.1bn merger between Santos and Oil Search will result in the combined business surging into the world's 20 largest energy companies
  10. Sale of Tilt Renewables, allows Infratil to pivot to Asian renewables market (14 Sept) Following the sale of its multi-billion dollar investment Tilt Renewables, infrastructure investor Infratil will build a portfolio of renewable energy projects across the Asian market
  11. New investment plan rolled out by ARENA (14 Sept) The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will shift its focus to funding a range of technologies including carbon capture and storage, in an updated investment plan
  12. Shell eyes off Meridian Energy's renewables assets (16 Sept) Oil and gas company Shell has its sight set on Meridian Energy's $1bn Australian renewable energy business bidding for the portfolio of energy assets through ERM Power
  13. Ausgrid's $2bn auction loses QIC interest (17 Sept) As offshore pension funds and private equity groups battle out the competition for AustralianSuper's $2bn stake in Ausgrid, the Queensland Investment Corporation has withdrawn its interest
  14. Finance secured for Hillston Solar farm (17 Sept) Project finance has been successfully secured for the proposed 120MW Hillston Solar Farm in south-western New South Wales
  15. 20-year share low sees AGL board face AGM test (20 Sept) Following a horror 12 months, electricity and gas supplier AGL Energy has seen its share price hit a record 20-year low and is facing increasing pressure as its board seeks to avoid a "second strike" at its annual shareholder meeting
  16. Brookfield and AusNet Services in deal frenzy (21 Sept) The ACCC sparks concern at the feeding frenzy among overseas and local investors on infrastructure assets, as Canadian giant Brookfield flags a $9.6bn offer with power grid owner AusNet Services
  17. APA Group outbids Brookfield in AusNet Services (22 Sept) Victorian power grid owner AusNet Services has found itself at the centre of a bidding war as gas pipeline giant APA Group has emerged with a higher share bid leaving Canada's Brookfield offer lacking
  18. Criticism levelled at AusNet board (23 Sept) The battle for AusNet Services continues with a major shareholder criticising the board's decision to grant Brookfield eight weeks of due diligence, effectively sidelining APA Group from lodging a higher takeover bid
  19. Review of HydroTas risk management practices (28 Sept) Hydro Tasmania has been reviewed by the Energy Security Monitor, triggered by the commencement of the Cattle Hill and Granville Harbour windfarms
  20. APA Group extends its $17bn bid for AusNet (28 Sept) APA Group waits patiently for the Takeover Panel to review its application, keeping its current $17 billion bid alive

Policy and Regulation

  1. Snowy Hydro calls for transmission fast-tracking (1 Sept) To ensure sufficient power supply of its Snowy 2.0 expansion, Snowy Hydro has called for a fast-tracking of transmission
  2. ESB Chief: coal won't stay "one minute longer" than needed (17 Sept) Kerry Schott, chair Energy Security Board has denied claims that an electricity subsidy could extend the life of coal, insisting they are not trying to encourage anything that would keep thermal generation in the system any longer than needed
  3. Victoria wants battery storage focus as it rejects "Coalkeeper" (17 Sept) Victoria has joined New South Wales in rejecting the plan, known as "Coalkeeper" to introduce a new capacity market mechanism favouring coal generation, instead offering investors assurance for wind and solar farms and battery storage projects
  4. Return of UK solar farms amidst Australian project network issues (17 Sept) UK investment Foresight Solar has returned to the fold but has been impacted by the performance of its four Australian portfolio assets
  5. Rooftop solar industry rules tightened (17 Sept) The findings of the much awaited Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector, is expected to outline a major regulatory overhaul for Australia's rooftop solar industry
  6. Energy price "catastrophe" fear for UK bosses (21 Sept) British manufacturing leaders are bracing for an industrial collapse as spiralling gas and electricity prices threaten to overwhelm the country's energy defences
  7. Historic energy reform hails battery storage boost (21 Sept) October 2021 will herald a significant change to the National Energy Market (NEM) that could offer a boost to the economics of utility scale battery storage
  8. Climate targets split Coalition (21 Sept) In a move that has fractured the Coalition party room and just prior to a key, global climate change conference, Liberal MP Dave Sharma has backed Australia's commitment to an emissions reduction target of 40-45 per cent by 2035
  9. Red tape fear for renewable energy proposed rules (21 Sept) Fears are emerging that potential investors in Australia's burgeoning renewable energy market are being put off by red tape and proposed rules that could stifle investment and cause delays and project cost hikes
  10. Looming showdown for energy ministers, as ACT flags dissent (23 Sept) Proposed market reforms and concerns over the future of the NEM, have put energy ministers on the back foot as the ACT has joined New South Wales and Victoria "adamantly opposing" the "Coalkeeper" reforms
  11. UK Government confident lights will stay on (26 Sept) Following emergency talks with energy suppliers and consumer groups, Britain's business secretary has assured the country that the lights will stay on and people will be able to heat their homes, despite growing concerns for crippling gas and electricity costs
  12. Global carbon price push by Cormann (27 Sept) Former finance minister, Mathias Cormann is proposing an "inclusive framework" process in a push to create a global carbon pricing regime
  13. Prepare for higher volatility in the market (27 Sept) With subdued interest and investment in fossil fuels and thin safety buffers in the energy market, the prospect of higher market volatility is here to stay
  14. Take note Boris: High gas prices are real (28 Sept) British Prime Minister Boris Johnston has dismissed surging natural gas prices in Britain and Europe as temporary and reassured consumers that there is nothing to worry about
  15. Widespread power outages result of China's energy crunch (29 Sept) Chinese homes and businesses are experiencing ongoing issues with power outages following the country's decision to cut its energy intensity to meet climate goals
  16. Morrison under pressure from Berejiklian's 2030 emission target (29 Sept) Scott Morrison has found himself under increasing pressure ahead of the Glasgow climate conference from NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian who has unveiled a 50 per cent 2030 emissions reduction target for her state

Climate

  1. Low emission steel production years away: BlueScope Steel (2 Sept) As BlueScope Steel looks for ways to reduce its carbon footprint, its latest climate action report believes that low emission steel production is still years away
  2. Investors put the heat on AGL (9 Sept) At its September annual general meeting, the AGL board was grilled about its short, medium and long term climate targets and questioned regarding remuneration deals for outgoing executives
  3. To keep global warming at 1.5C 95% of coal must stay in ground by 2050 (9 Sept) A new study by researchers from University College London has found that in order to have a 50/50 chance of keeping future global warming to 1.5C, ninety five per cent of Australia's coal must stay in the ground by 2050
  4. Australia slammed by OECD for its net zero headway (15 Sept) The Morrison government's climate change policies have received a scathing assessment from the OECD highlighting the need for Australia to massively accelerate the pace of its decarbonisation efforts to meet even its baseline targets
  5. Possibility of return of second consecutive spring La Nina: BOM (15 Sept) The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of a return of La Nina for a second consecutive season with wetter than average conditions for eastern Australia and dry conditions in the south-west of the country
  6. As US ups the ante on coal power, Australia becoming more isolated (16 Sept) With the US siding with European nations and Canada in seeking to end rich country support for coal-power stations, Australia is feeling increasingly isolated
  7. Triple low carbon investment for Chevron (16 Sept) Californian oil giant Chevron has announced its plan to triple spending in its new low carbon unit pledging to spend $US10bn on biofuels, hydrogen production, carbon capture and other technologies
  8. Green hydrogen already competitive because of skyrocketing energy and carbon prices (17 Sept) The chief executive of energy forecasting service AleaSoft believes that whilst skyrocketing gas and electricity prices are putting undue pressure on the global economy, it also paves the way for solar, renewables and green hydrogen opportunities
  9. AGL lashed on climate but avoids spill (23 Sept) Bad news again for AGL as its embattled board comes under further fire over an activist climate resolution but it managed to avoid a "second strike" over remuneration as it grapples with looming demerger issues
  10. China commits to stop building coal plants abroad (23 Sept) In a taped speech for the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a public commitment to stop building coal fired power plants abroad
  11. Three coal power stations and Victorian EPA sued (23 Sept) Legal action has been launched by Environment Victoria against the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the operators of three of Victoria's largest coal fired power stations over failures to limit pollution in a major test of new climate change laws that were introduced in 2017
  12. Four coal power plants worth of carbon emitted by major Australian airports (29 Sept) A new global analysis has found that major Australian airports emitted enough CO2 emissions to match four coal-fired power plants in 2019
  13. Canavan: record coal prices encourage mine expansion and development (29 Sept) National senator Matt Canavan believes that recent record coal prices will further encourage mine expansion and development


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