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Cost Confusion

Our guest author, Allan O’Neil, posts an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of an increasingly popular metric – the LCOE (or Levellised Cost of Energy)


Energy Supply Disruption – Understand the Customer Drivers

The energy supply industry is now a case study of major disruption and this is causing chaos. We are now witnessing the simultaneous high prices in electricity and gas – importantly at the commodity level – not network driven this time – although that just changed with the AER loss – more petrol on the fire.





NEM FCAS causer pays factor issues for wind and solar farms

Generators used to consider the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) FCAS causers pays factors (CPF), used to allocate FCAS regulation costs across the market, as an obscure and unimportant technically challenging curiosity. Since 2014, the cost of FCAS regulation services for generators has increased from just under $5 million per year to greater than $60 million for 2016 and now has the attention of all of the generators, especially if their portfolio includes generation assets in regions with a lack of FCAS regulation providers and high prices such as South Australia.


Fast Frequency Service – Treating the symptom not the cause?

The National Electricity Market (NEM) is designed to operate at 50 Hz. Frequency deviation occurs when generation and load are mismatched. It is important in a lightly meshed and long network such as the NEM to maintain tight frequency control and that frequency response is available throughout the network.


Let’s talk about FCAS

Ancillary Services Matter! No longer just realm of electrical engineer or energy trading boffins, ancillary services (and particularly Frequency Control Ancillary Services or FCAS which will concentrate on today) have become front and centre in so many ways that barely a day goes by without market observers referring to grid stability, inertia or frequency management.


Where is the east coast domgas development boom?

When markets operate normally, a sharp rise in the price of any commodity triggers a boom in exploration, development and new supply. But this is not seeming to happen in response to high domestic gas prices. In this article, guest author (Graeme Bethune) examines why.




How tight demand/supply situations can make solar forecasting important

NSW demand rose to a near-record high on Friday the 10th of February, and QLD soared to a new record demand on that Sunday, amidst an intense heatwave. While this heat-stressed our electricity markets and infrastructure, the nation’s rooftop solar PV systems were providing critical load reduction under plentiful sunshine.


Five fixes for the NEM

Load shedding in South Australia on Wednesday 8 February and successive ‘close shaves’ in NSW and Queensland as the heatwave spread north have exposed serious weaknesses in the national electricity market (NEM).