Australia is in the midst of an energy transformation with crucial decisions to be made for the future of our energy system. This section explores the latest issues related to building the role of renewable energy in Australia.
GRID AND TRANSMISSION
Electricity market reform
The growth in renewables, batteries and innovative technologies will lead to a vastly different looking electricity system to the one originally designed for a small number of large close to fuel-source energy generators. This rapid growth has led to a number of reviews and market reforms to ensure these new technologies integrate into the system effectively to be cost-competitive, as well as provide system security and reliability. The Finkel Review was the first independent, seminal, wide-ranging review to consider this issue, following the South Australian ‘system black’. There have been a number of market reforms as a result of the Finkel Review as well as other processes such as market body and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reviews (e.g. system security).
Building a grid that supports renewables
The NEM’s transmission requires transformation so that it can support the efficient development, connection and operation of renewable energy projects. This will likely require an agile, strategic, timely and coordinated approach to new transmission augmentations and upgrades, improvements to the regulatory investment test for new capacity and streamlined connection processes, and optimal grid operations that are technology agnostic.