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Aug 31 2021

AEC welcomes optimistic outlook from AEMO

The Australian Energy Council says the latest assessment of electricity supply presents a confident picture for Australian energy consumers in the near term, and an exciting picture in the long-term.

AEC Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said, “The market operator’s near-term outlook has been progressively more positive about supply and reliability in recent years, and that is good news for the industry and consumers, who will benefit from the stability.” 

Ms McNamara said AEMO’s forecast of oversupply in all regions of the market in the first six years of its outlook should take pressure off institutions and government to intervene and provides time to develop good market mechanisms that will support the National Electricity Market (NEM) in the long-term. 

“The outlook beyond six years is more complex when ageing thermal plants are forecast to close.

However, the 2021 Electricity Statement of Opportunities is just that: a statement of opportunities to fill the gaps that those closures create,” said Ms McNamara.

"AEMO identifies many generation and transmission projects likely to go ahead before then, which would fill the gap, but have not yet reached the appropriately conservative committed status to be incorporated into AEMO's forecast."

The 2021 Electricity Statement of Opportunities also illustrates the major transition under way in the electricity market, said Ms McNamara. 

"More than a quarter of the new dispatchable capacity coming online this summer is forecast to be battery storage capacity. With the accelerating interest in hydrogen and the potential for greater electrification, this is all good news for the evolution of the NEM and emission reductions.

“It’s pleasing to see AEMO’s support for the work of the Energy Security Board, on the management of Distributed Energy Resources, like rooftop solar.

"AEMO's most pressing focus is not having enough electricity to keep the lights on, but having too much, with periods of surplus rooftop solar. Consumers and governments need to recognise the critical need to have tools to manage these surpluses," said Ms McNamara.

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 20 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia, sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses, and are major investors in renewable energy generation.

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