Australia to launch 6GW renewables tender in May

  • Spanish Market: Electricity
  • 22/04/24

Australia's federal government plans to launch the country's largest ever tender for renewable energy in May, with more than a third of the capacity to be allocated to New South Wales (NSW) state.

The first major tender under the federal government's expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) will offer support for 6GW of renewable generation capacity, with at least 2.2GW of the total set specifically to NSW, the federal and state governments said in a joint statement on 22 April. A market briefing outlining the tender process will be released in early May.

A minimum of 300MW will also be exclusively allocated to projects in South Australia (SA), even though that is still subject to a final agreement between the federal and state governments. The remaining capacity will be allocated across the National Electricity Market, which apart from NSW and SA also includes Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Tenders will run every six months until 2026-27 under the expanded CIS, with up to 15 years of support for a total of 32GW. This will consist of 23GW of renewable capacity like solar, wind and hydro and 9GW of dispatchable capacity such as pumped hydro and grid-scale batteries with at least two hours of dispatch.

The inclusion of generation projects in NSW in the first CIS tender will replace the state's scheduled long-term energy service agreements (LTESA) tender under its NSW Roadmap. NSW will proceed though with the LTESA tender for long-duration storage infrastructure in the second quarter of 2024, as well as processes to award access rights for its Central West Orana and South West Renewable Energy Zones.

The federal government also said it plans to launch a separate tender in Western Australia in mid-2024 targeting 500MW of dispatchable capacity.


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23/05/24

Australia’s Origin to keep Eraring coal plant on line

Australia’s Origin to keep Eraring coal plant on line

Perth, 23 May (Argus) — Australian utility firm Origin Energy and the New South Wales (NSW) state's Labor government have agreed to keep the nation's largest single power facility open for at least two more years. The deal involves Origin shelving plans to close the 2,880MW Eraring coal-fired power plant near the NSW city of Newcastle next year, and operating the generator until 19 August 2027 and potentially until April 2029. A generator engagement project agreement has been signed, under which Origin will receive compensation covering the cost of running the 40-year old plant, while aiming for the plant to generate at least 6TWh for the two additional fiscal years it will run. Eraring produced 12.15TWh last year, Origin's 2023 annual report showed. The firm must decide by 31 March in 2025 and 2026 whether it will enter the underwriting arrangement for the following financial year. If Origin profits from its Eraring plant during these years it will pay NSW 20pc of the proceeds, capped at A$40mn/yr ($26.5mn/yr), but no compensation will be paid after 30 June 2027. Origin can claim no more than 80pc of Eraring's financial losses each year from NSW and the compensation is to be capped at A$225mn each year, if it does opt in. Origin spent A$147mn for generation maintenance and sustaining capital on Eraring in 2023, with A$69mn owing to costs associated with the facility's ash dam. Eraring provides around 20pc of NSW's delivered electricity and was scheduled to be replaced by the 2,200MW pumped hydro scheme known as Snowy 2.0 — which has experienced significant delays and will not be on line until 2029 — and the 750MW Kurri Kurri gas-fired power station also being developed by federal government-owned Snowy Hydro, which is to be commissioned later this year. Coal-fired power generation The viability of coal-fired generators has been declining for some time as Australia's renewable power generation grows to nearly 40pc of the total grid capacity. Widespread rooftop solar is driving electricity prices into negative territory during daylight hours and disrupting the profitability of large-scale generators. Origin has committed to a 460MW battery energy storage system (BESS) at the site of Eraring, which it says will provide two hours of firming capacity to the national electricity market. Australia's Clean Energy Council said the announcement must be backed by measures to integrate new renewable generation and storage into the NSW grid with "clear signals and support" to rapidly transition to renewables. Planning issues and rising costs have stymied the federal and state governments' plans to increase Australia's dependence on large-scale wind, solar, pumped hydro and BESS projects to replace coal generators. Canberra is aiming for an 82pc renewables share for Australia's electricity production by 2030. Coal-fired generation increased on the year for January-March because of a warmer-than-average summer and increased availability. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

UK general election set for 4 July


22/05/24
22/05/24

UK general election set for 4 July

London, 22 May (Argus) — A general election will take place in the UK on 4 July, prime minister Rishi Sunak said today. The announcement coincides with official data showing that UK inflation has fallen to its lowest level in nearly three years. Labour, the country's main opposition party led by Keir Starmer, has held a substantial lead in polls in recent months and performed well in local elections earlier this month. It won nearly 200 seats on local councils, as well as several regional mayoral contests, while the ruling Conservative Party lost almost 500 council seats. The Conservatives have been in power since 2010 and have fielded five prime ministers during that time. The two main parties are likely to release more detailed manifestos once the election campaign begins, but their current respective energy policies have many similarities. Both back a windfall tax on oil and gas producers and support nuclear power. They both also support offshore wind and solar power, although Labour has incrementally more ambitious targets for those renewables and has plans for more onshore wind. Labour also wants a zero-carbon power grid by 2030 , while the Conservatives are aiming for that in 2035. The Conservatives have rolled back some climate policy since Sunak became prime minister, while Labour in February backed down on its pledge to spend £28bn/yr ($35.6bn/yr) on the country's energy transition, if it wins the election. For a general election to take place in the UK, the prime minister must request permission from the British monarch — King Charles III — who then dissolves parliament. A general election must take place at least once every five years in the UK, although a prime minister can call one at any point. The UK's last general election was held on 12 December 2019 and Boris Johnson was elected prime minister. There have since then been two prime ministers — Liz Truss in September-October 2022 — and Sunak. Truss was selected by Conservative Party members and Sunak became prime minister in October 2022 after the only other candidate withdrew from the leadership contest. The Conservatives hold 344 seats out of 650 in the House of Commons, the UK's lower house of parliament. But 105 members of parliament have said that they will not run at the next election, 66 of whom are Conservatives. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s FEPC calls for clearer nuclear policy stance


20/05/24
20/05/24

Japan’s FEPC calls for clearer nuclear policy stance

Osaka, 20 May (Argus) — Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) has called for a clarification of the country's nuclear power policy, to ensure stable electricity supply and alignment with its net zero emissions goal. The call comes as the government reviews its basic energy policy , which was formulated in 2021 and calls for the reduction of dependence on nuclear reactors as much as possible. But Japan's guidelines for green transformation, which was agreed in February 2023, states that Japan should make the most of existing nuclear reactors. Tokyo should clearly state in its new energy policy that it is necessary to not only restart existing nuclear reactors, but also build new reactors, said FEPC chairman Kingo Hayashi on 17 May. Hayashi is also the president of utility Chubu Electric Power. Hayashi emphasised that to utilise reactors, it would be necessary to have discussions regarding financial support, policy measures that would help ensure cost recovery, address back-end issues in the nuclear fuel cycle and conduct a review of nuclear damage compensation law. Japan's current basic energy policy is targeted for the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, when the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is forecast to fall by 46pc from 2013-14 levels. To achieve this, the power mix in the policy set the nuclear ratio at 20-22pc, as well as 36-38pc from renewables, 41pc from thermal fuels and 1pc from hydrogen and ammonia. Japan typically reviews the country's basic energy policy every three years. Nuclear, as well as renewables, would be necessary to reduce Japan's GHG emissions, although thermal power units would still play a key role in addressing power shortages. But Japan has faced challenges in restarting the country's reactors following safety concerns after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, with only 12 reactors currently operational. Japan's nuclear generation in 2023 totalled 77TWh, which accounted for just 9pc of total power output. Tokyo has made efforts to promote the use of reactors, after the current basic energy policy was introduced in 2021. The trade and industry ministry (Meti) has updated its nuclear policy, by allowing nuclear power operators to continue using reactors beyond their maximum lifespan of 60 years by excluding a safety scrutiny period in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. This could advance the discussion on Japan's nuclear stance, especially if the new basic energy policy includes more supportive regulations. The trade and industry ministry started discussions to review the energy policy on 15 May, aiming to revise it by the end of this fiscal year. It is still unclear what year it is targeting and what ratio will be set for each power source in the new policy. But the deliberation would form a key part of efforts to update the GHG emissions reduction goal, ahead of the submission of the country's new nationally determined contribution in 2025, with a timeframe for implementation until 2035. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Jera to handle 35mn t/yr LNG until FY2035-36


17/05/24
17/05/24

Japan’s Jera to handle 35mn t/yr LNG until FY2035-36

Osaka, 17 May (Argus) — Japan's largest LNG importer Jera plans to maintain its LNG handling volumes at no less than 35mn t/yr until the April 2035-March 2036 fiscal year. Rising renewable power supplies and the possible return of more nuclear reactors are likely to pressure LNG demand from Japan's power sector. Jera consumed 23mn t of LNG in 2023-24, down by 3pc on the year, although it handled 35mn t through its global operations during the same year. But Jera needs to secure sufficient LNG supplies to adjust for imbalances in electricity supplies and ensure power security, through more flexible operations. It is also looking to further promote LNG along with renewable electricity in Asian countries, while helping to reduce their dependence on coal- and oil-fired power generators. The 2035 target for LNG is part of Jera's three pillars of strategic focus, along with renewables as well as hydrogen and ammonia , which was announced on 16 May to spur decarbonisation towards its 2050 net zero emissions goal. The company plans to invest ¥5 trillion ($32bn) for these three areas over 2024-36. Jera also aims to retire all supercritical or less efficient coal-fired units by 2030-31 . This would help achieve the company's target of cutting CO2 emissions from its domestic business by at least 60pc against 2013-14 levels by 2035-36. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Biomass start-ups lift Japan's Renova April power sales


17/05/24
17/05/24

Biomass start-ups lift Japan's Renova April power sales

Tokyo, 17 May (Argus) — Japanese renewable power developer Renova's electricity sales doubled on the year in April, following the start-up of three biomass power plants in the past six months. Renova sold 199,601MWh of electricity — including solar, biomass and geothermal — in April, double the 99,857MWh a year earlier, the company announced on 13 May. The 75MW Sendai Gamo plant in northeastern Miyagi prefecture started operations in November 2023 and produced 40,753MWh in April. The 74.8MW Tokushima Tsuda plant in western Tokushima prefecture, which was commissioned in December 2023, generated 10,870MWh in April. The 75MW Ishinomaki Hibarino plant in Miyagi began normal runs in March and supplied 49,495MWh in April. Renova plans to add 124.9MW biomass-fired capacity in the April 2024-March 2025 fiscal year, with the 75MW Omaezaki plant in central Shizuoka city scheduled to begin commercial operations in July, followed by the 49.9MW Karatsu plant in southern Saga city in December. Omaezaki is currently conducting trial runs and Karatsu is under construction. The additions will increase Renova's biomass-fired capacity to 445MW. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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