Thursday, 7 January 2010

Not cooking with Moomba gas

Adelaide Advertiser
Monday 28/12/2009 Page: 61

SOUTH Australia must look to Queensland for gas, amid predictions that reserves at Moomba will decline by 30% over the next two decades. A $2.5 billion upgrade to the SA/New South Wales electricity interconnector is also proposed to reduce blackouts, two reports from the Australian Energy Market Operator find. But most worrying to consumers will be the finding that the carbon pollution reduction scheme is expected to triple the price of electricity over the next 20 years.

The National Transmission Statement expects the wholesale price of electricity will move towards $100 MW/hour. "Our simulations indicate that substantial change is coming to the electricity supply industry, as higher carbon and market prices drive new investment," the report states. The report also identifies two "big concept" transmission projects for South Australia - a $2.5 billion upgrade to the Murraylink interconnector and a $3.6 billion line from Innamincka in the Far North of the state, to carry geothermal power.

Transmission company ElectraNet and AEMO will conduct a feasibility study to investigate upgrading the Murraylink and Heywood interconnectors. The Gas Statement of Opportunities also finds that Moomba's gas reserves will go down from 1400 to 1000 petajoules and Queensland coal seam deposits are the best option by which to meet SA's growing demands.