News and Articles

April 2024 Energy Market Insights

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April 2024

April saw Callide Power Station C3’s return to service after 518 days offline, which helped improve overall grid stability post C4’s incident. Tripping incidents at Eraring Power Station briefly impacted NSW’s generation, while an upgrade to the Queensland – NSW Interconnector (QNI) improved cross-state energy transfer marginally. Challenges persisted with the Murraylink DC interconnector outage affecting VIC-SA energy flow. Low wind conditions caused a NEM-wide shortage in wind-generated energy, highlighting renewable energy’s intermittency. TAS faced a transmission line fault from the Sheffield – Farrell No.2 220 kV line, while VIC and SA saw elevated spot prices due to a prolonged reduction in wind generation. Scheduled maintenance at Yallourn unit 1 temporarily affected VIC’s generation. 

The last day in April brought a notable article by The Guardian indicating a “possible extension to Eraring for as long as four years”, subject to taxpayer funding. The Eraring giant is Australia’s largest coal-fired Power Station, and this development underscores ongoing discussions about the role of coal-fired power amidst evolving energy transitions. On the back of this news, the FY25 Futures prices began to immediately decline. However, this drop wasn’t enough to offset the monthly factors like low solar generation and other power station outages. These elements influenced the market sentiment, leading to overall increased spot prices and future prices for the month. The Future prices for NSW were up 8%, QLD were up by 11%, VIC had increased the most by 13% and SA was slightly up by 5%. The Gas STTM prices slightly increased compared to last month, to around $12.5/GJ. 

Recent Highlights

    • AEMO released their Quarterly Energy Dynamics (QED) for Q1 of 2024. This report highlights market dynamics and outcomes, in the selected quarter, for governments and energy market participants alike. This issue pointed out the 1.6% increase, for a total of 39% in renewable energy being imported into the grid compared to this time last year. Additionally, it points out that the reason for the Q1 wholesale price reduction was from renewable energy generation – despite higher electricity demand from warm temperatures. AEMO 
    • AER released their Wholesale markets quarterly report for Q1, which covers a similar scope to AEMO’s QED. This release additionally highlights potential concerns affecting participants and stakeholders. AER indicates a 20% rise in average quarterly electricity prices in QLD and a 9% increase in VIC compared to the same quarter in 2023. Additionally, it explains that Australia experienced the third warmest summer on record marked by the 23’-24’ period. AER 

Renewable Energy News

  • SLB, recognised as the world’s largest oilfield services company, led a $51 million fundraising round for RayGen Resources, an Australian company specialising in solar power technology. RayGen uses giant mirrors and water reservoirs to capture sunlight and heat energy, enabling solar power availability even after dark. The investment aims to scale up manufacturing and technology infrastructure to support future projects using RayGen’s innovative solar technology, including satellite-grade solar panels and automated assembly lines for giant mirrors (heliostats). AFR 

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