TRUenergy confirms it has canned its float for the moment, and the cash for clunkers coal buyback appears dead in the water. But beneath the results – and those for German giants RWE and E.ON – lies a fundamental change to the way utilities do business.
The combined effects of falling demand, rising renewables and the carbon price are taking their toll on Australia’s coal-fired generators.
The debate on meeting peak demand usually overlooks the contribution of renewables. The CSIRO has shown that a collection of rooftop solar panels, combined with sophisticated forecasting techniques and a small amount of energy storage, can look to the grid just like a traditional fossil-fueled generator.
South Australia has the largest wind penetration of any advanced economy, and one out of five houses now have rooftop solar PV. This combination of wind and solar has helped defer new fossil fuel generation, forced some plants to close, reduced demand, helped meet peak demand and lowered wholesale electricity prices. Is this the energy future – clean, green and cheap?
Origin Energy caps contributions to Cooper Basin venture as Geodynamics’ geothermal drilling program runs over budget.
Credit Suisse and Citi invest $325m into rooftop solar leasing as SunPower targets Australia for rapid growth, and strong margins.
The die is cast, and the energy future is green, but can Tony Abbott read a graph? Plus: the cappuccino electricity price index; how the government was taken for a ride by the energy industry; and can tattooed voters protect solar PV?
Some 2,200MW of wind farm proposals were withdrawn in the past year, nearly all of them in Victoria. Plus: a list of major solar projects.
The energy market operator says virtually no new baseload generation is needed in Australia over the next decade because of dramatic changes in demand. Maybe we don’t need so many new poles and wires either. The operator also questions whether the renewable energy target can be met.
Julia Gillard this week gave a glimpse of what the smart grid of the future might look like. Regulatory reform is crucial, but energy utilities need to get this right. If they don’t, it won’t be just Californian pot smokers and the US Marines leaving the grid. And we’ll be watching utilities disappear down a “bottomless vortex”