A wrap up of 2023

Energy Networks Australia would like to wish all our members (and loyal Energy Insider subscribers) a very happy and safe holiday period. We look forward to working closely with our members, the government and industry in 2024 as we all work towards solutions that drive the decarbonisation of Australia’s energy system.

Let’s look back at the year that was 2023 at ENA…

Welcomed our new CEO, Dominique van den Berg

Dom joined the Energy Networks team in May, and together with the Board and ENA leadership, Dom has set about advocating for and representing Australia’s energy network businesses with a deep focus on solutions that drive the least cost outcomes for decarbonising the whole of system.

Dom’s passion for a fair and just transition, expertise, and deep understanding across the sector are setting the foundations for a strong advocacy platform in 2024 and beyond.

On a personal note, some of you may have noticed that Dom recently shaved her head in solidarity with a close friend who is undergoing chemotherapy, and in doing so, she shared her reasons why she chose to shave off her hair and began a small fundraiser for the McGarth Foundation.

John Cleland takes the role as Chair ENA

In September, we farewelled ENA Chair Frank Tudor and welcomed John Cleland, CEO of Essential Energy, as our new Chairman for the next two years.

John brings a wealth of leadership and experience to ENA and has a sharp focus on policy settings and the application of innovative technologies that offer the best energy network services to customers, protect and support vulnerable customers and set Australia on a path to net zero in a sound and pragmatic way.

John leads an incredibly talented ENA Board that stems from across the sector and the country, further cementing ENA’s sound and strategic leadership for 2024 and beyond.

Innovation and programs supporting Net Zero

Delivering 800MW of new transfer capacity into the National Electricity Market (NEM), enabling renewable generation to be shared across three states, is almost a reality as Electranet edges closer to the first commissioning phase of Project EnergyConnect.  Extensive planning, development and consultation to bring the project to life is well underway and means a big 2024 is on the cards for our National Electricity Market.

When it comes to storage, it is safe to say that more than any year before it, 2023 has been the year we have really seen a drive in Community Batteries.  Many of our members have installed and are trialling and operating community battery storage solutions in several ways. This allows innovative testing and defining of how to increase the amount of and store renewable energy in local neighbourhoods while supporting power quality and voltage in local areas, allowing for increased rooftop solar systems and charging our electric vehicles.

Congratulations to our members across the country undertaking this important, innovative work and well done to the Albanese Government on their Community Batteries for Household Solar Program. We look forward to seeing many more successes in this space in 2024.

It’s well understood that renewable gas will be needed to decarbonise Australia’s economy, particularly for industry and areas that are impossible to abate (or too expensive to electrify). KPMG completed a report for Energy Networks Australia to outline a policy pathway for renewable gas. The report aims to support and encourage the development of a range of policies to facilitate a stronger renewable gas market.

Renewable gas certification schemes and targets can drive the transition in gas markets. Good progress was made this year in renewable gas certification and these schemes should continue to be developed in 2024 and beyond to broaden renewable gas supply

The best of the best for customers

In 2023, more than any other year before it, we have seen our members taking on some big customer-focused projects and initiatives, all while continuing to drive improved reliability and performance at every level. To drive change and put downward pressure on prices, it takes a serious commitment to innovation and a drive to ensure customers are at the heart of all decisions.

We saw the best of the best when it comes to this at our annual awards this year

Endeavour Energy took out the top gong for Consumer engagement this year for their program Power Together – Collaborating on Our Energy Future, which spanned five co-designed engagement phases and involved more than 1,800 customers and stakeholders representing 124 organisations.

While Project Edith, a groundbreaking initiative from Ausgrid, won the coveted Innovation Award for its dynamic network pricing program for market-active consumer energy resources.

Engagement and Networking

A number of important industry events 2023 saw the best and brightest come together to problem-solve and innovate at this critical point in the energy transition.

In Canberra in November, following a full day workshop of member CEO’s, we hosted a private dinner with the Hon. Minister Chris Bowen which offered us a first-hand insight from the Minister on how the energy transition is tracking nation-wide. As 2024 approaches, the Minister has expressed his desire to continue to work closely with ENA and its members, on the challenges and opportunities for the sector.

What’s on 2024

As we finalise our program of committees, events and advocacy for 2024, it’s already clear that we have a big year ahead.

Energy Networks Australia looks forward to kicking off the first quarter of the year with our bi-annual conference Energy Networks 2024, in beautiful Adelaide from 19-21 March.

We have an impressive line up of national and international experts, coupled with the industry’s best networking events across a jampacked three-day programme.

As a special Christmas gift to our loyal Energy Insider subscribers, we have extended our early bird ticket pricing until 18 December. Book now, to secure your spot at the best energy conference in Australia.

Once again, we wish you all a safe and jolly holiday period and look forward to a huge year of success together in 2024.