Who is watching electricity prices?

As our useless MP’s decamp from Canberra for their long and very well payed holidays I wonder if anybody is riding shotgun on electricity prices. I am thinking AEMO wholesale price which 12 months ago jumped ~50-100% over Christmas-New Year. Here are the colossal and sneaky price increases by State over a 20 day period 22 Dec 16 to 10 Jan 17.

Our retail power bills are already exploding. Our PM had a good result talking down gas prices which has helped moderate pressure on electricity prices. I hope the PM makes some calls to electricity generators. Checkout the new improved NemWatch

12 thoughts on “Who is watching electricity prices?”

  1. Right now all 5 States AEMO prices $100+. Nothing in the Battery and it is not charging. But SA is running diesel.

  2. Turnbull’s stern words have had some impact on gas prices where he has some clout via export controls. But unfortunately when it comes to electricity he still believes in the tooth fairy, the fiction that affordable, reliable power can be provided by wind and solar. So until Turnbull’s magic pudding comes along expect electricity to continue to become both more expensive and less reliable.

  3. Well Tom recent monthly gas data suggests that the PM’s stern words to gas companies are not carrying the weight they did initially. My chart shows how in the last 2 months gas prices have firmed. (I do not have the same data for Vic.) This has most effect in South Australia which is most dependent on gas. Qld and NSW being more dependent on coal. Chart AEMO electricity monthly prices 5 States show the big exporter Qld is cheapest now with Vic, SA, Tas forming the expensive band and NSW in the middle.

  4. The SA Pelican Point natural gas (methane CH4) generator is now being used as the main base load power supply for SA. Unremarkable because it was quite predictable.

    Chagrin is caused by the fact that burning CH4 generates about the same CO2 emissions as a modern black coal HELE plant (efficiencies are now close to equivalence)- but at 3x the cost. Then the diesel plants installed for SA Govt use come online; 5-6x the cost of a HELE plant with no drop in CO2 emissions as Weatherdill pays $60m for a parallel battery array that will provide about 2% of required base load for all of 4 minutes in extremis.

    Oh well … there’s always a long weekend.

  5. Interesting that AGL choose to pick the Liddell scab again now pollies have all gone home.
    Fact – a year ago over a 20 day period Xmas-New Year 2016-17 AEMO prices jumped almost in unison by huge percentages. Collusion?
    After that there were price spikes in Qld, SA & NSW partly due weather, partly due gas price spikes – then Hazelwood closed by end March.
    Moderating weather plus the PM talking to gas companies saw gas and electricity prices moderate into October.
    November saw gas prices firm (need for PM to talk to Gas Companies again) and SA, Vic, Tas electricity all firmed while prices kept easing in the two big coal burning States Qld & NSW.
    The PM should be telling Generators that there must be no repeat of the AEMO electricity prices jump of a year ago. The PM should also be telling AEMO that with ample gas supplies and responsible maintenance of coal generators he expects no wild price spikes this summer.
    AEMO prices should follow the trends of 2017 and if anything keep easing going into 2018.
    It should be possible for upward pressure on power bills to reduce sharply in 2018.
    Nothing in the Battery as at midday.
    AEMO price demand chart for SA on a hot day with so far little wind indicates they need another ~1,000MW generation by 6pm. and price already $100+.

  6. > “Interesting that AGL choose to pick the Liddell scab again now pollies have all gone home”

    Warwick, the date was not chosen by AGL but by Waffle in full knowledge that Parliament would be over for the year by then and the silly season upon us.

    I know I’ve said this before but people underestimate Waffle in this sense:

    Waffle has a tell. When he waves his arms about and waffles on at top warp, people shallowly think that’s because he has no idea what he’s talking about. That’s only a small part of it, though. What he’s actually doing is covering over some mean, sneaky, slimy decision he’s just made that he *knows* we will dislike. In short, he’s buying time, Happens every time, that’s what makes it a tell.

    And so with Liddell. it’s all just a big pretence. When Waffle is finally cornered over this (mid-January, say), he will simply use some glib throwaway variant of: “Oh well, I tried.”

    Waffle’s vanity has him believing he’s just too smart for us. The truth is he’s just sneaky.

  7. Both the SA and Tasmanian governments face elections in the first half of next year. Both have resorted to diesel generation to avoid blackouts and electoral defeat, much as Victoria and the UK (via their STOR scheme) have done also.

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