Coal and gas-fired generation slump hits EnergyAustralia

One of Australia’s top utilities has announced a loss of A$350m (US$312m) for 2013.

The Hong Kong based CLP Holdings-owned company announced the write-down from its portfolio of coal and gas generation and its large retail customer base, after returning a profit of just A$18m (down from A$236m in 2012) for the year” a result it blamed mostly on an “unprecedented” fall in demand, and the popularity of solar PV.
Yallourn coal-fired plant
EnergyAustralia also chose to write off about A$300m from the value of its ageing Yallourn coal-fired plant in Victoria. This was part of a total write-down of A$445m, which even included an $85m gain from what it called the “bargain basement” purchase of the Mt Piper and Wallerawang coal fired power stations from the NSW Government.

EnergyAustralia noted the growing uptake of rooftop solar PV and energy efficiency products, the impact of uncertainty around carbon pricing on investment, and added that the country’s renewable energy target (RET) had forced “subsidised” renewable capacity into an over-supplied wholesale market, further dampening wholesale prices.

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