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Second electricity crunch looming in Qld, Vic alert cancelled

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Queenslanders are being asked to turn off their heaters again and the electricity generator refuses to provide enough power for the next two nights.

Homes and businesses in southeastern and coastal areas have been warned of possible blackouts by Thursday morning.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has asked generators to lift electricity supply, warning it will order them to do so if necessary.

“Discussions with the scheduled generators indicate an estimated approximately 2000 megawatt (MWs) generation in each Queensland and NSW, which was not bidding in the market, could be led by AEMO to be available to help meet projected electricity shortages,” the operator said in a statement.

Tuesday would be the second night in a row where AEMO led the generators to turn on the idle power plant to maintain the supply.

Powerlink’s chief executive Paul Simshauser said people should be “a little thoughtful” about their energy use.

“If you’ve got your air conditioner on … just make sure it’s not set to blast mode,” he told ABC Radio.

Queensland’s electricity generators stopped supplying electricity to the market after AEMO limited the sharp rise in spot prices on Sunday.

AEMO was required to provide generators to raise supplies on Monday night despite the state having “sufficient physical generation capacity”.

In Victoria, homes and businesses will not be without power after a blackout warning about a shortage of energy supplies was canceled.

The Australian Energy Market operator on Tuesday issued a “supply shortage” warning for Wednesday evening, meaning forecast demand was likely to exceed supply in Victoria.

Initially, he said “blackouts” could be expected between 6pm and 7.30pm.

After seeking a market response, the regulator canceled the alert at 4pm on Tuesday.

Companies ‘potentially’ play the system

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio blamed the pair on the “strange behavior” of power companies based on their reserves and not bidding in the market.

He said the generators “potentially” play the system, a topic the federal, state and territory energy ministers asked AEMO to investigate after last week’s meetings.

“No one likes the situation we are seeing right now,” Ms D’Ambrosio told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni stressed he did not need to intervene because the market is busy.

“So the system is working, and for the foreseeable future we will continue to manage it properly,” he told reporters.

The minister blamed the crisis on rising demand amid cold weather, rising coal and gas prices and maintenance outages in public generators.

With fossil fuel prices rising, electricity prices remain high in Queensland, where 83 per cent of energy is produced from coal and gas plants.

Government to offer discounted electricity bills

State Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy provide more than half of the state’s electricity, and have the greatest influence on the wholesale price movement.

The two generators also own coal mines, so gas prices are cheaper than private generators.

The minister has the power to give Stanwell and CS orders to sell electricity cheaper on the market, but Mr de Brenni refused.

CS Energy told AAP its prices were “commercially sensitive and therefore cannot be shared”, but insisted it had met its obligations.

Mr de Brenni denied state generators had raised prices, saying prices were only “covering costs”.

Instead of intervening, the government will write off $ 43 on monthly household electricity bills until mid-2023.

Monthly bills will jump by at least $ 43 from July, but analysts predict they will jump again before mid-2023 if the wholesale price remains high.

The Queensland government has yet to offer any relief to businesses.

-AAP

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Second electricity crunch looming in Qld, Vic alert cancelled Source link Second electricity crunch looming in Qld, Vic alert cancelled

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