23.7 C
Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Winds of change sweeping in energy markets

Latest News

Forum to address housing emergency, March 8

A grassroots movement is bringing women, community and art together on International Women’s Day (March 8) in an urgent push to solve the local housing emergency. 

Other News

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.

Rail trail

Peter Finch, East Lismore At last someone else has put their hand up to question the fluffery and misinformation surrounding...

Blue-green algae amber alert still active at Uki

Last Thursday Tweed Shire Council issued an amber alert for blue-green algae in the Tweed River at Uki, with Clarrie Hall Dam remaining on a green alert. This morning they say the alerts are still active.

TGA obstructs prescription psilocybin, MDMA

Imagine that some crazy professors convince a bunch of participants at a five-day mindfulness retreat to agree to take part in an experiment where half of them are given magic mushrooms, and half of them a placebo.

Amber alert for blue-green algae at Lake Ainsworth

An amber alert has been put in place for Lake Ainsworth near Lennox Head in relation to the presence of blue-green algae.

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Research from carbon analytics firm, RepuTex, indicates that growth of wind capacity in the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) is expected to outstrip growth in electricity demand by more than 2.5 times over the next seven years, as the Australian market seeks to meet its Renewable Energy Target (RET) in the face of weak electricity demand and a rising gas price.

According to RepuTex’s Quarter 1 Power and Renewable Update, the considerable growth of wind generation, driven by higher forecast Renewable Energy Credit (REC) prices, is likely to result in the gradual drop-off of natural gas and brown coal output as the economics begin to favour renewable energy in Australia – sooner rather than later.

According to RepuTex’s associate research director Bret Harper, Australia will see re-investment in stalled wind projects as early as 2015, as REC prices begin to rebound.

‘The oversupply of RECs will continue to suppress the REC price through 2014; however, new renewable capacity will likely be required as early as 2015 as power companies begin to run out of RECs created in the small-scale technologies portion of the RET,’ said Mr Harper.

‘Over 11,000 MW of capacity will be required over the next seven years to fill the gap to the RET, which equates to more than 2.5 times forecast market demand. If we see that amount of RECs come online, we would expect carbon intensity to drop by around 10 per cent through to 2020, and the economics of the market will significantly change to favour low-carbon fuels.’

According to the report, growth in wind output is likely to keep wholesale electricity prices low, which is bad news for marginal coal operators.

‘Even as demand grows through to 2020, newly built wind capacity will operate at low cost, ensuring that competition for generation will remain fierce in the foreseeable future. We anticipate wholesale prices will remain low, which is likely to keep many of the marginal coal generators, such as those who have been forced to reduce generation this quarter, out of the market’, said Mr Harper.

With brown coal forecast to decline throughout the decade, the future of natural gas in Australia is also called into question by the report.

‘As REC prices increase between 2015 and 2020, making wind more competitive to build, we anticipate over 80 per cent of new capacity will come from wind sources.

‘Natural gas output is forecast to decline as it struggles to compete with cheaper black-coal alternatives in the short term, and from there it is unlikely to get any support from a softening carbon price beyond FY2016. But from around that time, east coast LNG projects come online, bringing domestic gas prices up to international levels’

‘Conversely, prospects continue to look positive for renewables even if the carbon price does not reach the heights of Treasury predictions during this period,’ said Mr Harper.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Why not do away with coal, gas. wind, solar, tidal, geothermal power all together by developing LFTR technology.
    China, India, France and Russia are way ahead of us in this field of research.
    We have the scientists here in Australia just waiting on funding and the go-ahead to develop LFTR power but we don’t have the politicians with the foresight.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bangalow blackspot puts school children at risk

Will action ever be taken to protect school kids getting on and off the bus on Lismore Road, Bangalow as trucks fly by at 80km/h?

Lifting the lid on plans to build a retirement village in Ewingsdale

The letter sent to the residents of Ewingsdale last year by holiday park owner Ingenia seemed fairly innocuous at first glance...

Byron’s new road: the good and not so

After more than 30 years of talk, debate, disagreements, tears and political gridlock, Byron Bay has a new road to divert traffic from the CBD to the southern end of town.

Interview with Janet Swain

Janet Swain is 14. She’s in love with the tragic and brilliant cellist Jacquleine DuPré. But one day her mother arrives home with a bassoon.