Paul McArdle weighs in on discussion about the cost of Basslink cable failure

Over the weekend, Angela Macdonald-Smith and Ben Potter from the Australian Financial Review wrote an article discussing the potential cost of the recent Basslink cable failure that has been plaguing Tasmania over recent months. In March, our CEO, Paul McArdle published some of his thoughts on the topic in a post to WattClarity, and he followed it up with a short update last week responding to claims about the total cost of the cable failure. Seeking in-depth insights and analysis on the matter, the journalists referenced Paul’s comments on the matter:

The highest previous estimate of the economic impact of the outage was a $400 million back-of-the-envelope estimate from Brisbane-based energy consultant and GlobalRoam director Paul McArdle, based on similar methodology of applying the increase in average prices to typical usage.

Image of NEM-Watch used to illustrate 7:30 Report story on Basslink outage of 2016

One of our team members was surprised, last night (i.e. Friday 3rd June 2016) to see an old image of an old version of NEM-Watch (from way back in 2007) used to illustrate how Tasmania would normally be interconnected to the mainland by the sub-sea HVDC (high-voltage direct current) link connecting into the Latrobe Valley in Victoria.

Here’s the image that surprised us:

NEM-Watch used to illustrate what normally would be the interconnected nature of Tasmania to the mainland regions of the National Electricity Market

For those interested in the Tasmanian crisis, the ABC story here is worth a watch.

Coincidentally it was also yesterday that I’d published these updated thoughts on WattClarity ® about the magnitude of the cost incurred, in aggregate, by various stakeholders in the Tasmanian region of the NEM as a result of the Basslink outage, now about 6 months old.

 

Providing analysis on the possible closure of Australian power station

Last week, Sydney Morning Herald journalist’s Adam Morton and Brian Morris published an article on the possible closure of coal-power generation at the Hazelwood Power Station. In the article, the journalists sought comments from a number of industry experts including our CEO, Paul McArdle. Providing experience and insight on the topic, Paul was quoted in the article:

Most analysts who spoke to Fairfax Media said it was difficult to say what impact removing Hazelwood would have on prices – Global-Roam’s Paul McArdle said it was the “million dollar question” – but many said they were likely to increase.

Paul McArdle, managing director at Global-Roam, said: “The reality is nobody knows because it depends what competitors do.” He said it was likely prices would rise while also lifting AGL’s profitability, for example.