Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Wind to win as exports drive gas prices higher

11 Apr 2013

Australia's $63 billion of projects to export liquefied natural gas from the east coast are set to push up domestic prices, opening the way for record investment at home in competing energy sources to produce power.

Prices are forecast to double this decade closer to levels customers in Asia will pay for Australian LNG after companies including BG Group and Santos open terminals to ship gas that could have been supplied to the local market. That will help drive the $33 billion of wind-and solar power projects developers plan to build through 2020 in Australia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

"With high, LNG-driven domestic gas prices, renewable energy is the cheapest source of new electricity generation", according to Kobad Bhavnagri, a Sydney-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "It is quite conceivable that we could leapfrog straight from coal to renewables to reduce emissions as carbon prices rise".

Electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm in Australia at a cost of as little as $80 per MW when a price on carbon emissions is included, compared with $143 a MW from a new coal-fired power plant or $116 a MW from a new station powered by gas, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report said in February.

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