Energy & Resources Talking Points | 13/06/2017

In today’s talking points:  The Australian National Electricity Market saw significant changes in the electricity system with new blueprints, Tasmania’s Plan for 1000 Megawatt Wind Farms, the story of China and its global energy transition and the Australian Mining Contract acquired by Westgold.

Finkel Report Sketches the Future Security of Australian Electricity System

Following the South Australian state-wide power outage in late September 2016, chief scientist Dr. Alan Finkel, together with an expert panel, recently unveiled a blueprint to tackle the major problems facing the Australian electricity system today and to optimize the National Electricity Market (NEM). The NEM is the longest geographically connected power system in the world, with transmission lines stretching over more than 40,000 kilometres and providing electricity to 9.6 million customers. Key suggestions of the blueprint include setting a clean energy target, establishing a requirement for existing big electricity generators to give three years’ notice of closure and imposing obligations on new generators to support and maintain voltage and frequency. These measures will be put in place to lower future emission, stimulate new investment in power generation, and ensure electricity security and reliability.


Tasmania’s Plan for 1,000 Megawatt Wind Farms

UPC Renewables, a multinational sustainable energy developer, has revealed the viable plans for two wind farms in north-west Tasmania. After the recent contracts with the owners, Robbins Island and others near the north-west coast of Tasmania became the centers of sustainable energy development. Due to their isolated and plain geography, Robbins Islands are regarded as one of the best wind energy resources in the world and expected to produce between 600 to 1,000 megawatts. Not only does the farm cover wind energy, but the project is also contemplated to adapt additional solar or other non-hydro energy technologies to the site. Although there are obstacles to overcome such as currently lacking methods of transmission, developers are confident the farm will produce the required amount of energy necessary. Studies are well underway in response to the aforementioned challenge, and mainly focus on initiating a direct connection from Robbins Islands to the Victorian grid.

Read more at Reneweconomy

China and its Global Energy Transition

Starting from the involvement of the two Chinese major steelmakers – Baosteel Group and Shougang Group, China has been one of the leading countries in clean energy industries. According to the World Bank, China has recorded the largest investment of 2.5 trillion yuan (368 billion US dollars) and increasing installations in renewable energy over the past years. This not only created more than 13 million jobs nationally, but also motivated global business partners to engage in then raise more funds for deeper understanding in worldwide sustainability. China also seeks for international cooperation in the fields of reducing fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Furthermore, China’s newly-devised battery technology along with electrical zero-emissions cars are highly expected to foster the energy transition.

Read more at ChinaDaily

Australian Mining Contract Acquired by Westgold

Following the successful commissioning of its fourth gold operation at Fortnum, Westgold has signed an agreement to acquire Australian Contract Mining (ACM), one of the largest privately-owned specialist underground mining contractors in Australia. The deal will increase flexibility and efficiency in Westgold’s mining plans, through lowering its cost of mining and will lowering contractor margins. “This is a fantastic move and opportunity by the company to consolidate and focus the outputs from our operations to the common goal of production at a lower cost per ounce,” said Peter Cook, Westgold’s managing director. Westgold intends to integrate ACM with its existing internal open-pit mining fleets and open diversified mining services division. Westfolds future projections involve establishing a large number of underground mines.