The report notes Hazelwood's closure will push wholesale electricity prices up by 35 to 37 per cent in the three worst affected states because the plant has been supplying a fifth of Victoria's needs. The flow-on is Victoria will switch from being a net exporter of power to a net importer, forcing South Australia and Tasmania to rely more on costly gas-fired power when the wind isn't blowing or the dams aren't full.
CSR Bradford Executive General Manager, Anthony Tannous, in responding to the Commission’s projections said, “It’s not all bad news. With the advantages of innovative clean-energy technology consumers now have a choice and can take steps to decrease their power bills. We’re excited to make clean affordable energy more accessible for families while also investing in technology for Australia’s future,” says Tannous
“Electricity savings for homeowners investing in solar and home battery technology are significant,” Tannous continued.
“A 5kW Bradford Solar ChargePack with Powerwall 2, allows a family of five in Melbourne the ability to achieve up to 95% self-sufficiency on an average day, saving up to $2,300 on their annual energy bills.”
“Consumers have had enough of indecision in the Australian energy sector. Solar and home battery storage is the future for energy management. This gives control back to individual households enabling the homeowner to store, use and manage their electricity usage as never before.”
Tesla Powerwall is wall-mounted, lithium-ion battery which stores the excess energy generated by rooftop solar panels. Whatever power isn’t used during the day can then be used overnight. This enables homeowners to use the energy from their solar panels during the day to power their home with solar energy at night.
“Importantly for families, this helps reduce the reliance on mains power when the sun isn’t shining,” Tannous said.
Bradford Solar experienced a 150% increase in inquiries during November said Tannous. “Many of these inquiries were domestic: families wanting to reduce power bills and regain more control and ownership of their power use.
“Families are increasingly interested in our Powerwall solution because they see the opportunity to future-proof their homes and use and manage their own, guilt-free energy,” Tannous said.
“Homes that include solar with battery storage options, allowing them to virtually eliminate their need for grid electricity consumption, are already proving to be attractive to home-buyers. We expect this interest to continue as energy prices increase and leading to, we anticipate, yet further inquiries for our ChargePacks.”
AEMC Chairman, Mr John Pierce, said, "Wholesale electricity costs are a key driver in customer bills. These costs are increasingly connected with the mechanisms used to achieve emissions policy objectives – that is, how the energy sector will contribute to the emissions reduction target set by the government as part of the Paris commitment.
"Having more renewable non-synchronous generation affects the technical characteristics of the electricity system. We can expect that additional services will be needed to manage system security, potentially impacting retail prices over the longer term.”
Electricity prices are also affected by the price for gas through gas-fired power stations and are expected to play a larger role in the market in the future.
"Any future increase in the price of gas will result in higher input costs for generators, flowing through to higher costs in the wholesale electricity market," said Pierce.
The AEMC report says gas prices are expected to remain flat notwithstanding the volatility of this sector.
South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the AEMC report highlighted the urgent need for national energy market reform and consideration of a national emissions intensity scheme.
While business and civil society groups, including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the ACTU and the St Vincent de Paul Society, are actively urging governments to act urgently to reform the energy system.