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April 2023 Energy Update

Eco building or factory in aerial view.

April 2023

April was dominated by news and expectations surrounding the closure of Liddell Power Station, with the last unit finally switched off on the 28th April. While we saw increases across all states leading into April, the electricity market remained stable or trended down before an increase in the last few days of the month, with Fin 2024 Futures finishing slightly below the maximum point on the 3rd of April for NSW and QLD and slightly higher for SA and VIC. Average daily spot prices showed a similar trend with an increase in prices in the last few days of the month. Overall the physical closure of Liddell Power Station has not resulted in any dramatic price movements throughout April but the market will still need to ‘cope’ with the loss of a once significant contributor to the generation of electricity in NSW moving into winter and beyond. Gas spot prices have remained around $11-14 throughout the month, amid news that the government’s price caps will be extended beyond the end of the year.

Recent Highlights

  • The last three units of Liddell Power Station closed on the 24th, 26th and 28th of April after 52 years. About 50% of workers will be moved to nearby Bayswater Power Station, some will retire and around 20 staff will stay to decommission the power station. ABC 
    • The final day was an emotional day for workers, some of whom have spent five decades working at the power station. RnewEconomy
  • The federal government plans to extend its $12/GJ gas price cap beyond its current expiry at the end of the year, with exemptions for gas producers who put additional gas into the domestic market. AFR
  • AEMO’s Quarterly Energy Dynamics has highlighted new Q1 records for minimum grid demand, overall renewable generation, instantaneous renewable energy penetration, with the lowest Q1 gas and coal generation on record. AEMO
    • Compared to Q1 2022, Q1 2023 saw a decrease in coal, gas and hydro generation and an increase in wind, grid scale solar and distributed solar.
    • High distributed solar output saw Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia reach their lowest operational demands for any Q1 and the lowest Q1 operational demand for the overall NEM since Tasmania joined in 2005.
  • Labour has released its first electric vehicle strategy, which includes a fuel efficiency standard, EV discounts, a national mapping tool for charging stations and measures to boost local manufacturing. ABC
    • This is expected to improve the availability, choice and price of EVs in Australia.

Renewable Energy News

  • Origin have moved ahead with their Eraring big battery plans, selecting a Finnish company to construct the first 460 MW with two hours of storage. RenewEconomy
    • When completed the battery could grow to 700 MW with four hours of storage (2800 MWh).
  • The 2023 Clean Energy Council report has revealed that Australia generated 35.9% of total electricity from renewable sources in 2022, up from 32.5% in 2021. Clean Energy Council

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