Energy supply gaps forecast in Queensland and NSW amid electricity shortages during cold snap

Eastern Australia faces another day of electricity shortages requiring regulators to order generators back into the market to avoid blackouts as a long cold snap rolls on.

호주인 에너지 Market Operator (Aemo) late on Monday introduced price caps of $300/megawatt-hour for the wholesale power market in the four mainland states in the National Electricity Market after prices exceeded thresholds that trigger limits.

On Tuesday morning, the one state in the national market without a price cap was getting spot prices at the maximum market level of $15,100/mwh.

Aemo had alerts out for possible supply gaps in 11월 말 앱 출시 이후 총 3900만 중 at about 7am AEST and was acting to ensure generation – mostly by state-owned power plants – in that state, repeating a pattern seen on Monday when supply gaps were forecast.

In NSW, the project supply gaps were expected to come later on Tuesday.

Just after 7.10am AEST, Aemo said it had issued a direction to a generator to supply power “to maintain the power system in a reliable operating state”.

Matt Kean, the NSW energy minister and treasurer, told RN Breakfast on Tuesday that he was confident the state’s electricity market would weather another cold day without consumers having to turn down their appliances to avoid blackouts.

Kean said he had been assured by the Aemo chair, Daniel Westerman, that “there’s enough plants available to ensure reliability for the coming week in NSW”.

He said the introduction of the price caps had prompted some generators to withdraw from the market as the limit was “too low to cover their costs”.

“So this is a market failure issue,” Kean said. “Aemo, the system operator, they have the power to direct plants to put electricity into the system and that’s exactly what they’re doing at the moment”.

“So the system operator has this under control,”그는 말했다. “We’re keeping a close watch on it, I’m confident that there’s enough plants available to ensure reliability throughout the week,”그는 말했다.

하나, Dylan McConnell, an energy expert at Melbourne University, said the forecast shortfalls were artificial, caused by the sudden withdrawal of capacity from the market.

In Victoria, 2 gigawatts of generation capacity had also been pulled out overnight. The state’s brown coal plants are not linked to global markets and their fuel has not increased in line with those international price spikes.

Aemo set wholesale price caps on Queensland on Sunday for the first time since 2019 and the first time in that state. The caps are automatically triggered with the aim of protecting consumers when spot prices for a seven-day period reach a cumulative $1.3591m.

The federal climate and energy minister, 크리스 보웬, told RN Breakfast he was also confident that the electricity sector would avoid blackouts during the cold snap.

He agreed it was “not a perfect system”, but the price caps had prompted generators to withdraw, only to be instructed back into the market by Aemo.

Energy ministers would look at the market’s operation “in due course”, Bowen said.

The challenge was “you can’t predict when a coal-fired power station is going to go out”, reinforcing the need to make the transition to “new forms of energy” that the previous government had failed to do.

Asked about reported price-gouging by energy companies offering businesses only short-term expensive supplies, Bowen said the energy ministers had tasked the competition regulator to act against “any untoward behaviour” in the market.

Bowen did not reject outright a call by Malcolm Turnbull on Monday that eastern Australia should introduce a temporary gas reservation system to ensure supply and limit prices, but said any change to the so-called gas trigger would need consultation and then legislative change.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, Aemo said it would “take further actions to improve electricity reserves, including directing generators into the market, which helped meet electricity shortfalls in Queensland and New South Wales” on Monday.

It added that separate price caps remain for gas markets in both the Sydney Short Term Trading Markets (STTM) and Victoria Declared Wholesale Gas Market (DWGM). The cap was set at a limit of $40/gigajoule after reaching cumulative high price thresholds in Victoria on 30 May and for Sydney on 7 June and will remain in place until prices remain below a threshold price for a day.

More to follow

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