Australians warned to prepare for power shortages as coal and gas decline from 2023

Australians have warned to prepare for a power shortage as coal and gas are phased out from 2023

  • The National Energy Market Operator warned of power shortages through 2023
  • The deficits are forecast in the NSW, Queensland, SA and Victorian markets
  • At least five coal and gas-fired power plants will be shut down over the next ten years
  • According to the report, significant investments in renewable energy and storage are required

Australians have been warned to expect power shortages from mid-2023 as coal and gas-fired power plants are taken off the national grid.

Massive investments in power generation, storage and transmission will be required over the next decade to ensure that homes and businesses are not impacted by plant closures.

The Australian energy market operator predicts significant problems in the interconnected NSW, Queensland, Victorian and SA power markets in its latest report published on Wednesday.

“In the NEM (National Electricity Market) regions, gaps in forecast reliability have emerged due to significant coal and gas plant closures and insufficient commitments for new generation capacity needed to offset increased electricity demand,” said AEMO Managing Director Daniel Westerman .

At least five coal and gas-fired power plants will be closed in Australia over the next decade (pictured: Loy Yang coal-fired power plant in Victoria)

At least five coal and gas-fired power plants will be closed in Australia over the next decade (pictured: Loy Yang coal-fired power plant in Victoria)

He pointed to Australia’s first cluster of Coal plant shutdowns that will take place over the next decade – a total of 8.3 gigawatts, which is about 14 percent of the total capacity of the national electricity market.

‘Without further investment, this will reduce power generation and challenge the transmission grid’s ability to meet reliability standards and power system safety requirements.’

The report projected reliability gaps in South Australia in 2023-24 and Victoria by 2024-25 against the so-called “interim reliability measure” and in NSW by 2025-26 against the “reliability standard”.

By 2031-32, all states are projected to have gaps in the national electricity market.

There are “supply risks” across eastern Australia for the coming summer, according to AEMO.

However, around 800 megawatts more capacity from a range of technologies is expected to come online this summer than last summer.

Mr Westerman said renewable energy and storage projects coming onto the market, along with projects to improve grid connectivity, should provide 3.4GW of power and alleviate congestion – until later in the decade when more plants phase out.

The energy market operator predicted a shortage that would affect Australian households and businesses (stock image)

The energy market operator predicted a shortage that would affect Australian households and businesses (stock image)

Big players in Australia’s electricity market are scrambling to adapt to changing consumer demand for green electricity and the new Labor government’s tightened emissions reduction targets.

Origin Australia will close its Eraring facility north of Sydney by 2025, with a large battery being developed at the site and expanding renewable energy and storage capacity to 4 gigawatts by 2030.

Origin, already at the forefront of the residential solar market, has purchased Yanco Solar Farm in the Riverina region of NSW as part of a push into large-scale renewable energy generation.

But the Lock the Gate Alliance of farmers and environmentalists said they “condemned” the new plan because it failed to account for emissions from new gas basins the company is exploring in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

The country’s biggest power producer, AGL Energy, saw full-year profit slump amid “unprecedented” market conditions as it continues to search for a new boss.

“The second half was one of the most challenging and complex periods in AGL’s operating history,” outgoing CEO Graeme Hunt said at an investor briefing on Friday.

Mr Hunt said the selection process to appoint a new chairman was “well advanced” and would be announced ahead of an annual general meeting in November, and that the global search for a director and chief executive officer was ongoing.

The leadership team resigned after billionaire shareholder and climate activist Mike Cannon-Brookes succumbed to a proposed spin-off of the energy giant that would have created an energy retailer and spun off its coal operations.

Greenpeace activists stage a protest outside AGL Energy's Melbourne headquarters earlier this year (pictured)

Greenpeace activists stage a protest outside AGL Energy’s Melbourne headquarters earlier this year (pictured)

ENERGY PROJECTS PLANNED FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

Energy Australia’s 320 MW Tallawarra B project

750MW Kurri Kurri by Snowy Hydro

Genex Power’s 250 MW Kidston pumped storage project

Snowy Hydro’s 2GW Snowy 2.0 project

1 GW of wind power and nearly 1.5 GW of utility-scale solar power

The energy market operator warns that more renewable projects are needed to make up the deficit (pictured: the $30 billion Sun Cable project in NT).

The energy market operator warns that more renewable projects are needed to make up the deficit (pictured: the $30 billion Sun Cable project in NT).

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11162351/Australians-warned-prepare-electricity-shortage-coal-gas-winds-2023.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Australians warned to prepare for power shortages as coal and gas decline from 2023

Bradford Betz

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