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26 Apr 2017

Insider 28: Does Snowy Hydro 2.0 Stack Up?

This edition of IES Insiders considers the economic viability of the "Snowy Hydro 2.0" proposal by making a comparison to the existing Snowy pumped hydro scheme, known as Tumut 3.

Insider 28: Does Snowy Hydro 2.0 Stack Up?

The Federal Government recently announced a proposed expansion of Snowy Hydro’s electricity generating capacity by 2,000 MW at a cost of $2 billion.

Is this proposed pumped hydro scheme likely to be economically viable? Pumped hydro projects move water uphill before releasing it and relying on gravity to drive a generator.

A comparison is made to the operating activity of the existing Tumut 3 scheme and includes a consideration of wholesale prices, water usage, and equipment efficiencies.

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21 Feb 2017

Insider 27: How to Break the Electricity Impasse (in your dreams)

In this edition of Insiders, you can read IES CEO Hugh Bannister's advice and comments on what should be done with East Coast Australian electricity market.

Insider 27: How to Break the Electricity Impasse (in your dreams)

In this edition of Insiders, you can read IES CEO Hugh Bannister's advice and comments on what should be done with East Coast Australian electricity market.

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08 Nov 2016

Insider 26: How will the Hazelwood closure impact the NEM?

This edition of IES Insiders investigates the impact of the 1,600 MW Hazelwood Power Station withdrawing from the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Insider 26: How will the Hazelwood closure impact the NEM?

This edition of IES Insiders investigates the impact of the 1,600 MW Hazelwood Power Station withdrawing from the National Electricity Market (NEM). We assessed the market changes in terms of dispatched electricity, greenhouse gas emissions, power flows across interstate transmission lines, and the revenue impacts to each main type of generator. We also examined the changes to regional wholesale spot prices and how this will affect household electricity costs.

To read this article, please download the PDF version from the link below.

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11 Oct 2016

Insider 25: Can Energy Storage Provide Dispatchable Renewables?

This edition of Insiders investigates whether it would be economically viable for large lithium-ion batteries to store electricity generated from wind and large PV sources.

Insider 25: Can Energy Storage Provide Dispatchable Renewables?

This edition of Insiders investigates whether it would be economically viable for large lithium-ion batteries to store electricity generated from wind and large PV sources. A number of projects using this type of application are currently proposed in the National Electricity Market (NEM). If they are viable, it will mean that renewable energy can improve market efficiency and the overall reliability of the electricity system.

To read this article, please download the PDF version from the link below.

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25 Aug 2016

Insider 24: Can the National Electricity Market achieve 50% renewables?

In this edition of IES Insider, we assess how a 50% renewable energy target by 2030 would impact the National Electricity Market (NEM). We carried out wholesale market modelling to project changes to the mix of generation sources and future wholesale prices, as well as the impacts on consumers.

Insider 24: Can the National Electricity Market achieve 50% renewables?

In this edition of IES Insider, we assess how a 50% renewable energy target by 2030 would impact the National Electricity Market (NEM). We carried out wholesale market modelling to project changes to the mix of generation sources and future wholesale prices, as well as the impacts on consumers.

Our modelled target is introduced in 2017 and increases to 50% by 2030. The target applies to all generated energy (including rooftop PV) in the NEM and not separately to each state. While we haven’t modelled the Queensland and Victorian schemes individually, we provide the results of the renewables take up for these regions if a 50% scheme were to be applied across the NEM.

To read this article, please download the PDF version from the link below.

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02 Aug 2016

Insider 23: What’s Happening with Wholesale Electricity Prices in South Australia?

Are recent market outcomes in South Australia the result of too much wind power, high gas prices and constraints, an interconnector outage, exercise of market power, inadequacies in the market rules and industry structure, or perhaps some in combination?

Insider 23: What’s Happening with Wholesale Electricity Prices in South Australia?

The press has been running hot in recent weeks about the state of the wholesale electricity market in South Australia.  In this Insider, we examine market data in detail to understand what is happening.  While many commentators argue that too much wind power in South Australia is driving extreme prices, the data points to a more  complex reality.

The article examines possible factors driving prices including wind power and thermal plant retirement, high gas prices and constraints, an interconnector outage, exercise of market power and possible inadequacies in the market rules and industry structure.  Policy prescriptions will depend on the outcome of such analysis.

To read this article, please download the PDF version from the link below.

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17 Jun 2016

Insider 22: Re-engineering the NEM within the Half Hour

In this Insider, we look at a current AEMC rule change proposal to introduce optional 5 minute settlement into the NEM.

Insider 22: Re-engineering the NEM within the Half Hour

The AEMC is currently considering a rule change proposal from Sun Metals to introduce optional 5 minute settlement into the NEM.  The aim of the rule change is to remove the distorted incentives in the current half hourly settlements and to give market participants clearer and sharper opportunities to respond to market needs. 

In this Insider, Hugh Bannister reviews the history of the issue and the current proposal from the point of view of how a control system might be designed and implemented.  He specifically addresses some of the concerns that might inhibit the introduction of such a change including its impact on metering, on contracting and on AEMO and participant systems generally. 

The article concludes that the proposal, with some small but significant adjustments, could be implemented relatively easily and quickly.  It also highlights the fact that Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) could also evolve to  smooth operations within the half hour and within the 5 minutes as fast response technologies such as batteries become more significant.

To read this article, please download the PDF version from the link below.

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21 May 2016

Insider 21: How will energy storage impact the National Electricity Market?

In this edition of IES Insiders we consider what impact energy storage will have on the National Electricity Market (NEM) over the next fifteen years.

Insider 21: How will energy storage impact the National Electricity Market?

In this edition of IES Insiders we consider what impact energy storage will have on the National Electricity Market (NEM) over the next fifteen years. The focus of our analysis is on storage systems installed at residential and commercial premises. Take-up forecasts of energy storage are modelled in a wholesale market simulation tool. The results show the impacts that energy storage will have on wholesale prices, the generation mix, and greenhouse gas emissions.

To read this article, please download the PDF version from the link below.

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09 Dec 2015

Insider 20: Innovating in the Electricity Market

In this Insider article Hugh Bannister, Chairman and CEO of IES and an old hand in the market, lists his Top Seven desirable fixes.

Insider 20: Innovating in the Electricity Market

The National Electricity Market was conceived and designed around twenty years ago.  At the time, it was a small miracle of both technical and institutional innovation.  Like Ford’s model T, it’s been tweaked in many ways since then but under the hood it remains much as it always has been.  It is badly in need of an update to deal with the world as it will soon become.

The challenges are known – the rise of distributed generation and storage, the impact of government policy on renewables and emissions, customer incentives created by skyrocketing retail electricity tariffs and the challenges all this poses for established networks, generation, retailers and customers.  AEMC and AEMO are busy peering into this uncertain future and contemplating responses.

In this Insider article Hugh Bannister, Chairman and CEO of IES and an old hand in the market,  lists his Top Seven desirable fixes.

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