Cost of power strangling the economy

There’s a state election in Queensland and power prices are a major issue.

The below article from ABC Online highlights the launch, by Canegrowers, Queensland Farmers Federation, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, of the Queensland Industry Energy Alliance with an aim to put downward pressure on prices.

Travis Tobin, Chief Executive of the Queensland Farmers Federation describes the objective of the alliance, “It’s far better to price electricity efficiently and have that money flowing through to businesses that can stimulate economies and regional communities rather than having it in Treasury coffers.”

The reference to ‘Treasury coffers’ reflecting the state-owned nature of Queensland’s power companies.

So how do Queensland power prices compare to the rest of the National Electricity Market (NEM)?

Publicly available data available through the AEMO website paints the following picture:

Queensland electricity prices for 2017 are 41% higher than their 5-year average, making them the second most expensive state, behind South Australia.

The point?

“The cost of doing nothing has become greater than the cost of doing something for Government.”

A further dive into the data shows that this is an issue for all states.

Take Victoria for example.

This is what happened when the state lost a quarter of its brown coal-fired capacity with the closure of Hazelwood; more than a 40% year-on-year jump in average prices.

 

Compounding the economic impact of the rising electricity price is the gas price rise, which has doubled since the 2016 March quarter (Australian Energy Regulator).

Many Victorian businesses face the same issues as their Queensland counterparts.

This has presented an opportunity for ECT. As outlined in previous announcements, we’re pursuing the opportunity to fill the gap left by the closure of the Morwell briquette plant.

Many Victorian businesses rely on utility-scale heat generation – e.g. timber drying and pasteurisation of milk. Unfortunately wind and solar can’t provide this type of process heat. Gas can, but the cost has skyrocketed to the point that it threatens business viability, which in turn threatens jobs and broader economic security.

Our aim is to develop a Coldry solid fuel alternative to high-priced gas to help restore affordability and reliability to the Victorian energy market.

We’re pursuing this aim initially through the sale of small tonnages of Coldry from our high-volume test facility in Bacchus Marsh, with companies like AKD Softwoods.

We’ve also commenced a feasibility study into the establishment of a large-scale Coldry demonstration plant here in Victoria which could help improve long-term energy affordability and reliability.

Read more below…

 

Queensland Industry Energy Alliance launches with agricultural allies joining forces to tackle power prices

ABC Online | ABC Rural – ABC News | 8 Nov 2017 | By Kallee Buchanan

Electricity to power irrigation infrastructure is a major cost in the agricultural sector. (ABC News)

 

Canegrowers, Queensland Farmers Federation and Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland to put pressure on power prices…

Source: Queensland Industry Energy Alliance launches with agricultural allies joining forces to tackle power prices – ABC Rural – ABC News