• Alan Finkel releases his blueprint for energy policy

    2017-06-19

    Alan Finkel releases his blueprint for energy policy

    Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has unveiled a blueprint to optimise the National
    Electricity Market as a world-class electricity system that can serve the needs of today and
    rise to the challenges of tomorrow.
     
    According to Dr Finkel, if we adopt a strategic approach, we will have fewer local and regional problems, and can ensure that consumers pay the lowest possible prices over the long term.

    The blueprint presents the essential elements for a strategic plan for our electricity future.

    The blueprint will deliver four key benefits for the electricity system:
     future reliability
     increased security
     rewarding consumers
     lower emissions
     
    The report uses three pillars to achieve these outcomes: orderly transition measures, system
    planning and stronger governance.
     
    Under the orderly transition pillar, the Review Panel concluded that a Clean Energy Target
    is the most effective mechanism to reduce emissions while supporting security and reliability.
     
    Existing large electricity generators will be required to give a three years’ notice of closure.
    This will signal investment opportunities for new generation and give communities time to
    adjust to the loss of a large employer.
     
    The orderly transition would be underpinned by agreement from Australian, State and
    Territory governments to a national emissions reduction trajectory.
     
    During the transition, security will be achieved through obligations on new generators to
    provide essential services to maintain voltage and frequency. Further, new generators will be
    required to guarantee supply of electricity when needed at a level determined following
    regional assessments by the market operator.
     
    The second pillar of the blueprint, system planning, recommends a system-wide grid plan to
    inform network investment decisions and ensure security is preserved in each region. This
    would also include a list of potential priority projects to enable development of renewable
    energy zones.
     
    The third pillar of stronger governance calls for a new Energy Security Board to drive
    implementation of the blueprint and deliver an annual health check on the state of the
    electricity system.
     
    “The National Electricity Market is 5,000 kilometres long, spans five states and one territory
    and has more than 9 million metered customers. It’s essential that we get it right,” Dr Finkel
    said.

    The report is available by clicking here.