The market operator’s latest transmission plan is a considered response to the major transformation underway in the energy sector, the Australian Energy Council said today.
Commenting on the release of AEMO’s 20-year plan, the AEC’s Chief Executive Sarah McNamara welcomed the blueprint’s phased approach.
“Each network investment will unavoidably affect market investments so needs to be carefully considered.
“AEMO has proposed a step-by-step approach to a progressively more integrated system over time.
“The plan has assessed the need for new interconnectors and transmission lines as part of the broader shift in the generation mix in line with the Finkel Review.
“The existing dispatchable generation fleet continues to be important. Its economic life will be determined by the age of individual plant and national energy policy.
“To manage a smooth transition as a significant number of older coal-fired plants retire, new generation and transmission investment will be required.
“AEMO’s plan flags the important role targeted transmission investment can play in supporting the energy transition as more renewables, flexible gas and new technologies like storage come into the system.
“COAG’s agreement on the National Energy Guarantee will be critical in determining the future generation mix.
“Major investments like interconnectors can play an important evolving role in a decarbonised electricity grid, but will need to be individually assessed through the regulatory investment test overseen by the Australian Energy Regulator.
“This will be critical to ensure the cost-effectiveness of each project,” Ms McNamara said.
The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.
The Australian Energy Council has welcomed the release of the Energy Security Board's options paper,which is the result of a substantial consultation process.
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