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Sep 05 2023

NSW Electricity Check Up Highlights Challenges of Transition

The peak body for electricity generators and retailers, the Australian Energy Council, said the report to the NSW Government illustrates the extreme challenges being thrown up by the energy market transition.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said, “This transition was always going to face significant hurdles given the sheer scale and speed of the grid renovation underway.

“The electricity sector has been working cooperatively towards the decarbonisation of the grid for many years. This report flags the importance of getting the phase out of old plant and phase in of replacement generation right. Clearly there are consequences for reliability and affordability if that balance is not achieved.

“Our national electricity grid is a delicate and complex piece of infrastructure that touches every home and business across the eastern states.  Its decarbonisation requires time and the flexibility to be able to address issues as they arise. We support the sensible recommendations announced today and agree that government must continue to engage with plant operators to avoid the kinds of potential supply shortfalls flagged by recent market assessments. It is responsible to consider all options, including the ongoing role of gas-powered generation in our grid.

“Plant closure announcements to date have reflected the commercial realities of keeping existing baseload power stations open beyond their technical lives, as well as the impact of the increasing volume of renewables in the system and higher fuel costs.  These announcements are usually made well ahead of the 3.5-year notice period required by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

“We also agree with the NSW Government’s assessment that there is a critical need to improve the community’s awareness and understanding of the energy transition. This must be a cooperative effort between governments and market participants.”

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