AEMO shatters some Marshall myths about South Australia energy

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Assumptions that South Australia’s wholesale electricity prices are higher than other states, and that it relies more on imports, are not true.

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New South Australia premier Steven Marshall has an energy policy that is largely based around the need for “baseload”, the assumption that renewables are the cause of its high electricity prices, and its increasing dependence on imports from Victoria.

In short, it is largely based on some of the common myths that we reported on last week ahead of the state election, including the idea that the 75 per cent renewable energy target is “reckless”, and that manufacturers are fleeing the state (actually, they are going green).

But all is not what it may seem. The Australian Energy Market Operator has just begun publishing a new quarterly report on energy market insights. And it contains some fascinating material.

Here is the first, its findings of average wholesale electricity prices in each state connected to the National Electricity Market, in the latest quarter (December quarter), the previous quarter and the last 10 years.

The first thing to note is that South Australia does not have the highest wholesale electricity prices in any of the periods cited here by AEMO.

In the latest quarter, it was beaten by Victoria and Tasmania, and only slightly more expensive than NSW. In the September quarter, it was beaten by Victoria again, and only slightly more expensive than NSW and Tasmania.

The only state with significantly cheaper wholesale prices over the last two quarters was Queensland, but this can be attributed to the fact that its coal and gas generators are mostly owned by the state, and are under instructions to bid lower than they otherwise might.

Even on the 10-year four quarter average, South Australia is cheaper than both NSW and Queensland, and just a smidgen ahead of Tasmania.

The next graph shows average inter-regional flows in the fourth quarter over the last four years. The striking thing here is the shift for South Australia to net exports, and the reliance in NSW on imports from Queensland and Victoria.

According to AEMO, both NSW and Victoria were net importers of electricity (609 MW and 130 MW respectively) in the fourth quarter, while South Australia was a net exporter, with an average of
185MW flowing from South Australia to Victoria.

That latest figure is a net change of 531MW compared to the previous December quarter – a function, AEMO says, of significant thermal power station closures coupled with ongoing investment in
renewable generation.

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  1. john 3 years ago

    It does not matter to the dominate news organ what the facts their alternate facts are pushed all the time and sadly believed.
    Frustration it is however that is how the system works.
    Eventually the retail prices must start to go down then the penny will drop perhaps.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      In today’s Daily Telegraph (20/3 ) Terry ‘Crackers’ McCrann was at it again. Disrespectful to ex-Premier Jay and continuing his anti wind and anti SA RE thread of unreliable, intermittent and EXPENSIVE. The dude obviously does not inform himself of the facts before spitting out his rubbish. But Rupert’s loyal COALER loving punters get off on this type of ‘fake reporting’.

      • Paul Surguy 3 years ago

        Well said joe channel 9 Chris Ullman is the same had an article on the web page saturday that was incorrect too,but they have to write something

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Ah yes,our former ABC ‘Cilmate Expert’ the Uhlmann on the case again. Different employer these days but same modus operandi.

    • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

      The people of South Australia are probably only now are waking up to the fact that they have been conned by the Marshall. Doesn’t matter what the COAL lovers say, renewable energy is here to stay, and what’s more, it is getting cheaper. The hip pocket will tell the real story and there will be much gnashing of liberal teeth and fake news and loud denials by those who should crawl right back under their rocks.

      • Rod 3 years ago

        The reality is with wholesale costs only 30% of your average SA residential bill, most will not even notice a difference.
        There are only two ways to guarantee a drop in bills. Work very hard on lowering use by efficiency or attitude. Or “get some solar on ya roof”. Or even both.

      • david H 3 years ago

        Totally agree. It is a fact that technology and the market will decide what happens.

  2. Ray Miller 3 years ago

    NEM snapshot on Sunday, Jay’s goodby gift. Seems like in SA you need to pay users to take energy, this is before the pipeline of RE projects come online.
    Premier Marshall may need to correct the record.

  3. Patrick Comerford 3 years ago

    The results are hardly surprising and as usual you can bet the house on conservative polies of the likes of Marshall and any other you care to name making up their own lies (and having some gullible people believe them). Actual facts are what other people are expected to live by.

    • George Darroch 3 years ago

      In Australia facts are optional. Especially if you’re the gutter press, and especially if you’re telling stories about energy or crime.

  4. Andrew Lang 3 years ago

    Giles, Surely you know some journalists somewhere who can run this story.
    Or hold your own press conference and get the story out there to the un-informed public masses.
    Do you have any luck sending directly to the Premier?

    • Giles 3 years ago

      His advisors just signed up for the newsletter!

      • Joe 3 years ago

        Some progress at last.

  5. DavidFilmart 3 years ago

    Is this about a NSW premier of another (or the same?) name or about the new South Aust premier called Steven Marshall?

    • Rod 3 years ago

      “New South Australia premier Steven Marshall”

  6. Greg Hudson 3 years ago

    Personally, as a Victorian resident, I’m quite happy to be using wind power exported from SA. Keep it up guys… until I have my own PV array at least. Even then, your afternoon wind will be beneficial.

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