Energy Networks Australia (ENA) welcomes the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Draft 2024 Integrated System Plan (ISP)
Energy Networks Australia (ENA) welcomes the AEMO’s Draft 2024 ISP which shows that the grid requires significant reconfiguring as it decarbonises over the next decade, due to the rapid pace at which renewable technologies are coming online.
In the first half of 2023 renewable generation accounted for around 40% of the NEM’s delivered energy, reaching a high of 72.1% momentarily on 24 October 2023.
ENA CEO Dominique van den Berg said there is an obvious and timely need to continue to deliver vital transmission projects to ensure we are connecting renewable energy and taking it from where it is generated to where it is needed.
“The Draft 2024 ISP shows that this no regrets investment approach will strengthen the backbone of the National Electricity Market (NEM), connect renewable energy zones, enable diversity of resources and help distribution grids manage more household solar, batteries and electric vehicles,” Ms van den Berg said.
“These transmission projects are expected to pay for themselves twice over, delivering $17 billion in net market benefits,” she said. “Essentially, every $1 spent on transmission projects will be paid back two-fold.”
Wind generation is expected to dominate grid scale connections which will complement consumers’ roof top solar. As electricity use increases, a fourfold increase in firming capacity will be needed to meet demand and offset retiring coal generation. Firming capacity that responds to dispatch signals using utility scale batteries, hydro, coordinated Consumer Energy Resources (CER) and gas fired generation will be crucial to keeping the lights on.
CER (like rooftop solar and home batteries) are expected to play an even larger part in the transition, with a fourfold increase in rooftop capacity to 72GW expected by 2050.
Gas, or renewable gas, will be needed for the firming of power supply through the transition.
“When it comes to the grid, we are at the cusp of a once in a generation rebuild, which is not without challenges,” Ms van den Berg said. “The role of transmission and distributions networks to facilitate great outcomes for customers through the transition, and well beyond, is critical.”
“Our members, Australia’s transmission and distribution networks, are acutely aware of the significance of their role in getting the transition right, and this ISP acknowledges the transformative work they are doing to secure reliable and renewable electricity for customers now, and for future generations.
“The energy transition is well underway, and we need to keep moving forward, ensure industry and government’s work together to deliver policy that shapes our future and supports a least cost transition for Australia,” Ms van den Berg said.
Media Contact: Emma Shanks| 0408 740 476
Energy Networks Australia is the national industry body representing Australia’s electricity transmission and distribution and gas distribution networks. Our members provide more than 16 million electricity and gas connections to almost every home and business across Australia.