Energy

The Australian energy sector is undergoing rapid transformation to achieve ambitious emission reductions without compromising our economic competitiveness and our quality of life. Not only is traditional generation technology being phased out in favour of intermittent renewables; vast numbers of small-scale systems must now be accommodated within the network, competing to supply services in an increasingly complex market.

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Latest Case Studies

Case study

Asset valuation confusion under Australia’s National Gas Rules

The introduction of the information disclosure and arbitration provisions under Part 23 of the Australian National Gas Rules in August 2017 has resulted in an unsuitable asset valuation methodology, the so-called ‘recovered capital method’ (RCM), becoming the default valuation methodology to be used in arbitrations involving gas pipelines and their users (shippers). This is because it is incompatible with price formation in workably competitive markets, a concept which underpins the objective of Part 23.

The ...

Case study

Independent verifier of Transpower’s RCP3 expenditure proposal

Synergies (in partnership with GHD Advisory) was engaged by Transpower to provide an independent verification opinion on Transpower’s third regulatory control period (RCP3) base capital expenditure and operating expenditure forecasts relating to the 2020-25 period. This included testing the assumptions underpinning Transpower’s expenditure and demand forecasts prior to the submittal of its RCP3 proposal, as well as making recommendations to enhance the substantiation of specific components of its expenditure proposal.

Case study

ATCO’s proposed Network Innovation Scheme

Synergies was engaged by ATCO Gas (ATCO) to prepare an expert report establishing the economic case for an innovation incentive scheme – the Network Innovation Scheme – to be incorporated into its proposed access arrangement to the WA Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) for the 2020 to 2024 regulatory period. The proposed Network Innovation Scheme was intended to be in the long-term interests of WA gas consumers through encouraging ATCO Gas to seek out new and ...

Case study

Options for an energy efficiency scheme in WA

The cost of household energy bills in Western Australia has increased substantially over the past decade and is forecast to keep rising, driven by projected increases in electricity prices above the rate of inflation. This is contributing to pressures on household budgets, particularly those on low incomes. Government programs to assist low income households improve their energy efficiency is one means of addressing rising electricity prices and the financial hardship caused. The WA Public Utilities ...

Case study

Wage and price forecasts for Western Power’s access arrangement

Synergies was engaged by Western Power to prepare an expert report on the outlook for wages and inflation to support its proposed access arrangement to the Economic Regulation Authority for the 2017-18 to 2021-22 regulatory period. Our expert report provided forecasts of Wage Price Index (WPI) for the Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services sector (EGWWS) and forecasts of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In a first stage, economic forecasts for WA and Australia were ...

Case study

The potential of microgrids to support economic development in remote communities

Advances in technology are fundamentally transforming the way in which energy services can be provided, and are allowing services to be provided more efficiently. Standalone power systems, for example, use a mix of different technologies to allow individual customers continuous energy supply without the need for grid connection. Microgrids use intelligent technologies to enable consumers to become ‘prosumers’ and actively generate and trade power on a controlled platform that ensures continuous energy supply to a ...

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