Rio Tinto, the majority owner of the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter, announced last Thursday, 9th July, that it has terminated its electricity contracts with Meridian Energy and that it will close the smelter by August 2021. This will have a profound impact on the electricity sector which will be felt for years to co
By Greg Sise, July 13, 2020
By Greg Sise, July 13, 2020
Rio Tinto, the majority owner of the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter, announced last Thursday, 9th July, that it has terminated its electricity contract with Meridian Energy and that it will close the smelter by August 2021. The announcement is short on details, and many questions remain unanswered.
By Greg Sise, April 21, 2020
A thought on everyone’s mind these days, or at least those involved in electricity supply, is what is Covid-19 doing to electricity demand? Well, the answer to this question is not simple, and we are working on it, but the answers will come highly qualified by the uncertainty surrounding the disease in New Zealand, the econ
By Greg Sise, March 25, 2020
Energy Link is working as normal, from home, during the Alert Level 4 lock-down, while we all get the virus under control. Contact us as normal, via email landline or mobile. That’s really all you need to know, but more details are in the blog.
By Greg Sise, December 2, 2019
The HVDC link will be operating with only one pole (one half) in service for most of the first quarter of 2020, to allow essential maintenance to be carried out. When this was first announced back in December 2017, futures prices barley moved, but they now show an expectation of a price difference between upper north and mid-south islands in the vicinity of $55/M
By Greg Sise, October 21, 2019
The gas market is opaque relative to the electricity market, but recent major gas field outages have prompted moves to improve transparency. One of the first improvements is an initiative by the gas industry regulator, the Gas Industry Company, which
By Greg Sise, September 27, 2019
Spot prices surged late last year when there was a prolonged, unplanned outage at the Pohokura gas field offshore Taranaki. But they haven’t come back down to where they were prior to the gas outages. In this post we look at the reasons why and ask the question on everyone’s mind – will they remain high?
By Greg Sise, July 16, 2019
This is the third in a series of three posts on what I see as the most important issues for the electricity market for the 2020s and beyond. The first issue was woeful lack of disclosure in the gas market, and the second issue was the ineffectiveness of the electricity hedge market. This third and final issue is on the challenge of moving toward extremely high level
By Greg Sise, July 10, 2019
The government released a consultation paper yesterday on the Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount. The Clean Car Standard would require importers of new and used vehicles to lower the average emissions of the vehicles they bring into the country. The Clean Car Discount increases the cost of vehicles t
By Greg Sise, June 10, 2019
This is the second in a series of three posts on what I see as the most important issues for the electricity market for the 2020s. The first issue was disclosure in the gas market, which has as much impact on electricity as it has on gas, and is woefully inadequate. The second issue, and the topic of this post, is the electricity hedge market: how it is not working for new retail
By Greg Sise, May 2, 2019
This is the first in a series of three posts on what I see as the most important issues for the electricity market, and by association the gas market, for the 2020s. This first post is actually a submission to the Gas Indsutry Company's recent consultation on information disclosure in the wholesale gas market. The GIC documents and all subsmissions can be found at
By Greg Sise, October 24, 2018
We’ve been asked many times recently why spot prices are so high, so this has prompted me to finally put fingers to keyboard for another blog. The spot prices are a function of low hydro storage, restricted fuel supplies, and plant outages.
By Greg Sise, May 31, 2018
Since 23rd May we’ve seen big price spikes, to over $1,000/MWh at Otahuhu for example, consistently during the peak demand at the end of the day. In this post we take a brief look at what’s causing these spikes.
By Greg Sise, April 18, 2018
It’s ironic that this month’s announcement that there will be no new offshore oil and gas exploration permits issued in New Zealand was titled “Planning for the future…”. This announcement was totally out of the blue and if there is a “plan” somewhere, it appears that no one outside of government knows what it is.
By Shelley Mackay, March 12, 2018
It’s been a while since our last blog post due to workload and other factors, but it’s a new year and it’s going to be another interesting year in the electricity industry, an industry undergoing change. In this post we look at the recent announcement by Contact Energy of the sale of the Ahuroa Gas Storage facility to First Gas.
By Greg Sise, November 27, 2017
I’ve given talks recently at the Energy Trader Forum in Wellington and at the Otago Energy Research Centre’s annual symposium in Dunedin, including an overview of how recent upgrades on the HVDC link have changed the cost of transmission between the islands.
By Greg Sise, July 19, 2017
The majority of direct and indirect participants in the electricity market, from generators and retailers through to large consumers, aren’t aware that there is an essential piece of market intelligence available free on this very web site. And this month we publish it for the 100th time.
By Greg Sise, July 19, 2017
Inflows into the South Island’s major hydro lakes since February rank as the lowest on record, by quite a margin.
By Greg Sise, June 23, 2017
With the storage lakes falling fast, it got me thinking about other ‘dry year’ events we’ve experienced, which really helps to put the present, and the market, into context.
By Greg Sise, May 28, 2017
I was privileged to speak at the Energy Management Association of NZ (EMANZ) annual conference in Wellington last week and showed how market reforms over the last two decades, and now the Internet, are working together to disrupt the retail electricity market.
By Greg Sise, May 26, 2017
After a long period of low spot prices and low volatility in spot prices, hydro storage lakes are emptying out and it’s a timely reminder that the hydro situation can change very quickly. But it raises the question: when spot prices start to rise, should I stay on a spot pricing plan, or should I switch to a fixed price plan?
By Greg Sise, May 5, 2017
The charges for delivery of electricity (a.k.a. lines charges) include the cost of providing local networks and the transmission grid, and are published by local network companies, typically from 1 April for the year ahead. Now that the dust has settled from the most recent round of price adjustments, let’s take a look at what’s happening to line charges in major centres around the country.
By Greg Sise, April 24, 2017
I was once again privileged to speak at NZWEA’s annual conference held in Wellington last week, updating some aspects from 2016 and posing a paradox for 2017.
By Greg Sise, March 27, 2017
Our Price Path is a forecast of electricity spot prices at over 200 nodes on the national grid. The latest version was released last week and covers the period from April 2018 to March 2033.
By Greg Sise, March 12, 2017
Since launching in August 2016, the Energy Exchange has run reverse auctions covering a range of site types and sizes, proving its ability to deal with the wide range of needs typical of many larger electricity consumers.
By Greg Sise, March 6, 2017
What drives electricity prices? Demand? Fuel costs? Losses? Transmission constraints? Carbon costs? The cost of new generation? Inflows? Well they all have an impact to a certain degree. The time frames vary but the answer in the long run is surprising, especially given that we are currently running at over 80% renewable generation.
By Greg Sise, February 26, 2017
One of the many challenges for anyone forecasting electricity spot prices, as Energy Link has done since first trading in 1996, is that some key factors affecting spot prices are fundamentally unpredictable in the short to medium term: inflows to the hydro lakes are a case in point.
By Greg Sise, February 5, 2017
Over the last 20 years, spot prices in the electricity market were highly volatile. But 2016 will be remembered as one of the least volatile years on record.
By Greg Sise, December 22, 2016
This week we released our latest quarterly Price Path, a long term forecast of spot prices, to our subscribers. 2016 has indeed been an uneventful year on the spot market, a function of a warm winter and lots of rain for generation and for pastures. However, the last quarter delivered up some very significant news on the gas front.
By Greg Sise, November 21, 2016
Last Thursday 17th November our new Energy Exchange web site ran New Zealand’s first live internet reverse auction for electricity supply for the Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground, attracting bids from six retailers. By Greg Sise, Managing Director
By Greg Sise, November 17, 2016
The 10th annual Symposium of the Otago Energy Research Centre (OERC) was held in Dunedin on 10th and 11th November. I presented at the conference, and Fergus Bevin-McCrimmon gave a presentation of the results of his research on the efficiency of electricity futures markets. Energy Link was very pleased to sponsor the prize for the best student presentation, won by PhD candidate Paul Crane for his presentation titled “Helping Support Energy Management Systems at the University of Otago”.
By Greg Sise, November 17, 2016
Our courses are widely recognised as the most comprehensive in their subject areas. For 2017 we are running three sets of public courses, all in Wellington. We are also available to run these courses or customised courses in-house.
By Greg Sise, November 15, 2016
By Greg Sise, October 13, 2016
This is the third and final post in a series which draws on research undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Accountancy and Finance at the University of Otago. In the first post, we looked at evidence for premia in electricity futures prices. In the second post we found some surprising drivers of premia observed in futures prices. In this post we look at liquidity in the futures market, how it has evolved, and what developments or events caused it to change.
By Greg Sise, September 21, 2016
Yesterday we released our latest quarterly Price Path, a long term forecast of spot prices, to our subscribers. It was an uneventful quarter since publishing our last Price Path update in July, but this update included some significant revisions of probabilities on extreme scenarios, and a large section on the viability of the thermal fleet.By Greg Sise, 21 September 2016