Australia Faces Major Oversupply of Energy
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) reported this week that Australia will not need to increase its energy generating capacity for the next ten years, even in times of crisis.
The report raises several questions including the long-term viability of coal-fired power plants, as well as the need for a reduction of the Renewable Energy Target, a review of which is currently being undertaken.
According to AEMO, Australia doesn’t need any more energy generation to maintain supply reliability.
"Now, that's under all three scenarios that we model. So what we're saying is that there's an oversupply of generation capacity at present. It doesn't affect the reliability," Joe Adamo, an AEMO spokesperson, said.
Next year, Australia will generate up to 8,900 MW of electricity more than is needed. While generation is certainly strong, electricity utilization has also fallen dramatically in recent years thanks to renewable energy sources such as solar, energy efficient appliances, and the decline of high-consuming industries.
Despite this surplus of energy, consumers are paying extremely high rates.
"The prices have been rising because of the other parts of the cost of electricity, which is the cost of getting it from the boundary of the power station through the meters of all the individual consumers," Hugh Sadler, the principal consultant of energy strategies with Pitt and Sherry, said. "And that's considerably more than half of the total cost of the total electricity that's supplied to households or small businesses. That's the part that's been rising very rapidly over the last three or four years."
This also comes at a time in which electric city utilities are lobbying the government to reduce the RET, since they are having an impact on utilities’ earnings.
Sadler notes, though, that without the commitment to the RET, large-scale renewable efforts in Australia are as good as dead.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.