January 2022 delivered higher electricity and environmental certificate price outcomes in the NEM, while gas remained immune from the upward global LNG price pressure. An usual high level of baseload outages occurred in NSW, and wetter conditions filled the hydro power water storages.
The year 2022 commenced with upward price movements evident in electricity spot prices, forward power market, spot and forward environmental certificate market prices. However, natural gas spot market prices were contained despite the pressure from a rising LNG Asian market, and LNG exports to China continue to decline.
During the month demand was stronger across all regions, especially during the 'dark' hours and VIC was the power house pushing energy into all neighbouring regions. Little new renewable generation joined the grid during the month, although renewable energy increased compared to same time last year.
Carbon intensity decreased compared to same time last year due to higher baseload outages in NSW compared to same time last year, thereby aiding strong spot prices. On 31 January, NSW spot prices threatened to go extreme, and Snowy Hydro offered capacity in manner that appeared a strategy to suppress the threat.
Water storages improved during January due to wetter than normal conditions and the outlook is also predicted to be wetter than normal.