Infigen cashes in on high LGC price as renewables construction remains stalled

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ASX listed renewables group Infigen Energy has reported a 32 per cent increase on its December quarter revenue, after cashing in on higher large-scale generation certificate prices, which have been up to around $77/MWh.

In an ASX release on Friday, Infigen reported revenue of $43 million – a $10.5 million increase on Q2 2015 earnings, despite production for the quarter remaining at 361GWh, the same as the previous corresponding period.

The company said the rise in revenue was due to higher Large-scale Generation Certificate (LGC) and electricity prices, the average bundled price for which was $119.1/MWh, up $29.1/MWh or 32 per cent.

New construction, meanwhile, remains at a standstill, with major retailers not prepared to offer long term power purchase agreements and bankers not prepared to finance new projects. Those retailers are also benefitting from the high price of LGCs.

For Infigen, after a tough couple of years of high debt levels and asset sell-offs, its share price has returned to around $A0.47c (after a low of $0.22 in August last year), but the company clearly still doesn’t feel in a position to get PPA and finance for new renewable energy projects.

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In February last year, Infigen boss Miles George told RenewEconomy that LGCs – which at that time were trading in the low $40s/MWh – were still well short of the $50/MWh needed for substantial new development.

And in August, two months after a bipartisan agreement was reached on a new Renewable Energy Target for Australia, George said it could be six to 18 months before retailers would start to act.

“The big three are in no hurry to contract now,” he told a conference call during the release of the company’s 2014-2015 annual results.

“Vested interests in highly polluting generation platforms of the past, whose own industry appears to escape scrutiny on political, health or environmental grounds, have been incentivised to see the RET fail,” George said in his managing director’s report at the time.

‘As large and well‐known companies they have leveraged media attention to conflate and confuse the real drivers of electricity price increases in order to influence consumer sentiment.”  

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  • Andrew Woodroffe

    ” . . . Those retailers are also benefitting from the high price of LGCs.”

    How? Retailers are the ones with the obligations to buy LGCs, they will be hurting because of these high prices.

    I agree that the situation is very much of their own making. With LGCs now over $80, they are starting to paying one hell of penalty. And there is every reason to expect the prices to continue to rise all the way up to $92.5 and stay there for a number of years.

  • Paul Parker

    So the economic modeling is correct, and the program is achieving its goal of maintaining electrical supply while at same time encouraging producers to upgrade their systems to move away from higher pollutants, towards lower pollutants.

    Those not working towards the goals, will eventually fade from business, or adapt themselves to suit the process…

    • Susan Bye-Walsh

      People torturers!