With unprecedented movement between the states and a La Niña weather event in full effect, Australia is gearing up for an energy intensive Summer. With northern states already lashed with rain and extreme weather, across the board the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting higher than median temperatures for January - March 2022, including warmer than average nights.
And what do we do as business owners when the sun beats down? Turning up the cooling and drawing demand from the grid - unless, of course, you are one of the savvy ones with a commercial solar system supporting your load and driving your energy costs down during this peak season.
Read on to learn more about what we anticipate in the coming months for each state.
While recent months have seen steady prices as standard, we can expect upwards movement through Summer as rising temperatures and lockdowns truly eased return communities back to business as usual. With this year’s La Niña weather event on the cards, the Climate Council anticipates the coming Summer months to experience a similar relative risk for heatwaves, with Victoria likely to experience longer yet less intense bouts of heat. Translated to energy trends, we can expect the usual increase in demand to keep cool, bringing the wholesale price up with it.
And not a minute too soon, Victoria’s biggest battery is now online. The BESS in Geelong was officially opened by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change for Victoria Lily D’Ambrosio, who said her government was ‘proud to flick the switch on Australia’s biggest battery, which will help project our network in Summer”. Read more about it here.
NEW SOUTH WALES
As the anticipated closure of the Liddells power plant creeps closer, nerves are perhaps as jangly as current energy prices. Peak power has now hit 10c, with pricing volatile across the board. While Liddell power plant owner AGL energy has made a push forward by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Fortescue Future Industries to explore the development of a green hydrogen plant, we do have to wonder how this confidence will play out in a state that remains coal-heavy by comparison to other east coast states.
While the Australian Energy Market Commission did announce an anticipated drop in the cost of energy bills thanks to the flood of cheaper, cleaner renewables introduced to the grid across Australia, NSW is not anticipated to reap the same rewards as Queensland, Victoria or Tasmania, anticipating only a drop of around only 4% in costs by 2024. With another warm Summer approaching, could creating your own source of clean renewable energy be an option for more businesses in order to avoid bill shock?
The fortress gates are down, and Queensland is welcoming back tourism with open - and double vaccinated - arms. With borders now open to visitors who meet their guidelines, we can anticipate a flood of tourist dollars back into the sunshine state, bringing with it, of course, a return to demand on the energy front. In recent weeks already, we’ve seen an 15% increase in wholesale costs, with little likelihood of a significant drop to follow.
When covid lockdowns and lockouts drove down the cost of energy, plenty of Queensland-based Choice Energy customers were able to lock in significant savings on the cost of energy - now is the time to strike to protect yourself against the rising demand costs, and reap the remaining benefits of an unprecedented market drop. Read more about it here.
Just with our last update, Tasmania has continued to remain low and steady in pricing. Businesses looking to optimise energy bills further have the opportunity to utilise this energy doldrum with expert energy procurement, creating a competitive environment to secure the lowest costs possible. Learn about procurement, and how this benefits your business, here.
While the energy market remains placid, the state continues to show its confidence and future focused vision, with the Marinus Link and offshore wind farm concepts continuing to develop. In the meantime, local environmentally-minded Tasmanians can get a taste for a clean energy future with the introduction of Carbar, thanks to a partnership with Aurora Energy. The pay-as-you-go electric car package offers a range of models in a weekly payment based subscription, allowing drivers to experience the difference without the commitment of a classic car loan or expensive purchase. Read more about Carbar here.
For South Australian businesses, now is the time to get smart with your energy strategy. The AEMC forecast of cheaper renewable energy bringing down the costs of electricity was a welcome one in the face of an anticipated hot and rainy summer, but for South Australians the projected savings are not so exciting, with an anticipated reduction of only 2% expected by 2024. Combined with 11% cost increases over recent weeks, the coming months are a taste of things to come.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the beloved southern state. Rooftop solar recently made SA the world’s first gigawatt-scale system to hit negative demand, where the output exceeded native demand and was exported interstate. While a similar event in 2016 contributed to the infamous grid system failure that plunged the grid into blackout, being ready is key, and the challenges will continue as output grows in others states too. In the words of Energy Security board member Jess Hunt “In a few years, the eastern States will have a surplus too at certain times,” Hunt continued, “so we’re building the capability to remotely switch off rooftop PV in an emergency, as well as looking at other ways to get value out of the energy so we don’t end up wasting it.”. Read more here.