WA Electricity Industry Weekly News Roundup: 30 November 2020 – 6 December 2020

A big week in the WA energy sector, first with the launch of the state government’s climate and electric vehicles strategy, and the below-the-radar gazettal of the first tranche of WEM Rule changes as part of the broader WEM Reform agenda.

Headlines

Hydrogen and batteries fuel climate policy [30/11/2020]

Electric vehicles and a $100 million, 100MW battery will be integral to the state government’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Western Australia names Future Battery taskforce members [30/11/2020]

Western Australia’s Labor-led McGowan Government announced on Monday the members of its Future Battery Industry taskforce which will seek to grow the state’s future battery industry.

Rooftop solar claims its biggest victim yet – Australia’s newest coal generator [01/12/2020]

The most recently built coal generator in the country, the Bluewaters coal complex near Collie in Western Australia, has had its value written off completely by one of its joint owners – the Japanese industrial giant Sumitomo – and it appears that the growing impact of rooftop solar in that state is largely the reason.

Western Australia offers royalty deal to lithium producers facing low prices [01/12/2020]

The Western Australian government will offer royalty rebates to three of the state’s active lithium producers, in an effort to help the industry ride through a difficult period of low prices.

Cattle farming WA town recognised for advanced distributed energy resource microgrid [02/12/2020]

Onslow, a tiny coastal town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia known for its cattle farms and gold mines, has this week been recognised for having one of the world’s most advanced microgrids.

Rooftop solar installation records tumble again in November, as NSW leads the way [03/12/2020]

The latest data from PV market analysts SunWiz shows Australian households and businesses installed another 277MW of solar across the country for the month of November, topping the 252MW of new capacity installed in October. Western Australia added a new high for that state of 32MW.

Western Australia could wreck state-based climate action if it doesn’t step up [05/12/2020]

While many of Australia’s states have announced concrete policies and plans to achieve deep emissions cuts in the short term on the pathway to net zero by 2050, Western Australia’s new climate policies lack sufficient ambition. Though the state’s Labor government recently announced a relatively ambitious plan to build a long electric vehicle charging route, the state’s broader emissions footprint is likely set to exceed targets and continue rising. The Labor government recently announced a wide-ranging climate policy that included funding for a 100 megawatt battery, funding for hydrogen, climate science, adaptation and an electric vehicle strategy, but there is little detail on concrete, short-term emissions reductions, and how they differ from “business as usual” for the state.

Announcements

WA Government: Climate policy supports Western Australia’s low-carbon future [30/11/2020]

Western Australian Climate Policy outlines exciting opportunities for new cleaner industries and supports transition to a low carbon economy. Follows commitment to work with all sectors of the economy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Policy focuses on reducing emissions, while creating jobs and growing the economy. New initiatives include $21 million Electric Vehicle Strategy, a $15 million Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program, more than $100 million towards the 100 megawatt big battery and commitment to reduce emissions across WA’s public sector. Builds on initiatives already underway as part of $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan

WA Government: New strategy to power electric vehicles in Western Australia [30/11/2020]

Electric Vehicle Strategy to reduce emissions, drive economic growth and create jobs. A key part of the Western Australian Climate Policy, the EV Strategy will support the uptake of electric vehicles in Western Australia. Strategy includes creation of Australia’s longest electric vehicle charging network. McGowan Government investing almost $21 million in an Electric Vehicle Fund.

WA Government: Future Battery Industry taskforce members named to drive industry [30/11/2020]

McGowan Government announces members of Future Battery Industry taskforce. Government looking to attract global cathode active materials manufacturer to WA.

Horizon Power: Onslow DER Project wins prestigious State industry award [30/11/2020]

Horizon Power’s Onslow Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Project was announced State winner of the 2020 Australian Institute of Project Management Achievement Awards, in the category of Regional Projects.

EPWA: New customer protections for alternative electricity services [03/12/2020]

Energy Policy WA today published the Final Report, Tailoring customer protections for alternative electricity services – a registration framework. This Report provides detail on an alternative regulatory framework for new and emerging electricity business models.

WA Government: Brighter future for Western Australians in the energy sector [04/12/2020]

McGowan Government continues support for vocational education and training in the energy sector. 22 apprentices and trainees graduated today as part of Western Power’s entry-level programs.

Publications

WA Government Gazette No. 196 [30/11/2020]

Wholesale Electricity Market Rules [1/12/2020]

WEM Rule Change RC_2017_02: Implementation of 30-Minute Balancing Gate Closure [01/12/2020]

Tailoring customer protections for alternative electricity services – a registration framework [03/12/2020]

Draft code of practice for behind-the-meter generation and storage services [03/12/2020]

Consultations

Proposed changes to the Metering Code open for public comment [02/12/2020]