Reliability gaps highlight urgent need for transmission

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2022 NEM Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) has highlighted the urgent need for new transmission to help overcome forecast electricity supply gaps over the next ten years.

Reliability issues as a result of coal-generation retirement could mean energy shortfalls resulting in blackouts across the National Energy Market.

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said part of the answer lay in fast tracking critical transmission projects across the east coast.

“The transition to a net zero energy grid is happening. Solar and windfarms are coming online at pace. However, transmission projects are vital to ensuring that renewable energy gets from where it is generated to where it is needed – into homes and businesses,” he said.

“Today’s ESOO highlights the critical role new transmission projects such as Project Energy Connect, Humelink, Marinus Link and VNI West will play. Not only do they allow new renewable generation to connect to the NEM, they improve reliability outcomes.”

Mr Dillon said while networks were willing to invest and implement crucial transmission projects, governments, both state and federal, needed to work with networks and market bodies to ensure a supportive regulatory regime.

“Having the correct policy settings means networks can better address social licence issues and community benefit concerns while still able to recover their costs.

“AEMO’s Integrated System Plan confirms every dollar of transmission investment returns more than twice the benefit to customers. Regulatory, financing and social licence issues can cause costly delays, which prevent cheaper, cleaner power from flowing freely onto the grid.”