Many Australians face a 20% rise in their electricity bill this coming winter, so it seems odd that the AEMO* forgot to put the price of the cheapest source of electricity in their last quarterly report. The bid-setting prices for brown coal have been some of my favourite graphs, but this quarter, for the first time a whole energy source disappeared. It would only be another 2 digit number in a 69 page report, yet the average winning bid of brown coal generators on our national grid last quarter is not even mentioned?
The nation faces major decisions about whether to continue to try changing global weather with our power plants. You would think Australians would like to know which fuel produces the cheapest electricity and by exactly how much? I mean, what’s the true cost of cooling Australia by a thousandth of a degree in 2100?
Perhaps the AEMO didn’t like that skeptics spread the message that brown coal could still generate electricity for less than 4c/KWh, or that hydro and gas were seven times more expensive? After all, the head of the AEMO — Daniel Westerman — says we must ramp up renewables to avoid blackouts.
I’m sure the AEMO doesn’t want to misinform Australians so I decided to help them by adding in last years brown coal prices to this quarters graph instead:
Obviously I’d use the current prices if the AEMO will tell us… we know they know what it is.
With 300 years of coal left, Australians could easily reduce electricity prices
The nation is still using brown coal, but only at about half the rate. When we had cheap electricity (2010), brown coal would generate 6GW. Now it is only about 3GW. Not surprisingly, the less brown coal we use, the higher the prices rise.
Next winter could work out as badly as the last one:
Prices may yet go blockbuster in Australia with one black coal plant closing, and two other turbines broken and delayed another six months:
Further delays to the restart of the Callide C coal-fired power station in Queensland, coupled with the impending closure of AGL’s Liddell coal plant, have heightened fears of another harsh winter for the country’s vulnerable energy system.
The prospect of a repeat of last year’s unprecedented energy market intervention by the Australian Energy Market Operator is also seen a real possibility this year, particularly if further outages are reported or severe weather events limit coal supply.
CS Energy confirmed on Wednesday the restart of two major coal generators in Queensland would be delayed by up to six months, nearly two years after a major explosion forced one of the units to shut down.
*AEMO — Australian Energy Market Operator
AEMO Quarterly Energy Dynamics (QED) report
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March 9, 2023 at 03:06PM