The uptake of large-scale renewable energy (particularly wind and solar), residential solar, battery storage and electric vehicles is already having a major impact on Australia’s electricity market and its customers. It is not just the end users – the customers – being affected; every part of the value chain is experiencing significant disruption and change, including generators, retailers and distributors.

Technological innovations will enable greater competition in all areas of the ‘new energy future’. Both established players and new entrants will need to be ready for the challenges, and the opportunities ahead.

We have brought together the key government initiatives in this area to ensure you, our clients, are ready to tackle the ‘New Energy Future’ head on. These 4 initiatives will be fundamental to the design and framework of Australia’s ‘New Energy Future’.

How to join the conversation

Initiative

Summary

Distribution Market Model – Approach Paper

Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)

Submissions due 19th January 2017.

AEMC has a strong focus on the consumer as the driver of distributed energy. According to AEMC, no longer will consumers be passive energy customers, rather they will be prosumers actively engaging in the energy market to lower their energy spend and choose the energy they want to consume.

AEMC’s approach paper is looking to develop firm principles to deal with the rise of distributed energy. In their view, these principles must be in place to understand what the energy market will together work towards over the next 5-20 years as it grapples with the technological transformation of its industry.

Energy Network Transformation Roadmap

CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia

Submissions due 16th February 2016.

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and the peak national body representing gas distribution and electricity transmission and distribution businesses in Australia, Energy Networks Australia, have partnered to develop an Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap (Roadmap).

The Roadmap outlines 5 areas of transformation that will fundamentally change the Australian energy market over the next 25-50 years.

The five transformations pinpointed in the report are:

1. Customer orientated electricity – Choice, control and autonomy will be the key focuses of customers as they are empowered by new, innovative and disruptive service offerings.

2. Carbon abatement – Aware of Australia’s international commitments to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050 the report predicts incentive based policy options will support lead cost carbon abatement in the energy industry.

3. Incentives and network regulation – A ‘fairer’ system through active implementation of tariff reform and modernised regulation and competition frameworks.

4. Power system security – Whole of system balancing will enable distributed energy resources to become an integral part of the network optimisation, while still ensuring system safety, security and reliability.

5. Intelligent networks and markets – An expanding range of new energy technologies and services will be supported in the future, including market-based mechanism that reward customers with distributed energy sources.

Senate Select Committee into the resilience of electricity infrastructure in a warming world

Senate Select Committee

Submissions due 27 January 2017.

The Senate Select Committee into the resilience of electricity infrastructure in a warming world was established to inquire into and report on electricity infrastructure in a warming world by 10 February 2017.

The committee will explore the role of storage technologies and localised, distributed generation to provide Australia’s electricity networks with the resilience to withstand the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events driven by global warming.

Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market

Submissions due 21 February 2017.

Dr Alan Finkel AO presented the Preliminary Report of the Review to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Leaders’ Meeting on 9 December 2016.

The review focused on the national electricity market, taking stock of its current security and reliability and providing advice to governments on the potential for a coordinated national reform blueprint.

COAG is now seeking consultation on the Preliminary report. The aim is that this consultation will provide the basis for the final reform blueprint. It is expected that the blueprint will outline national policy, legislative, governance and rule changes required to maintain the security, reliability, affordability and sustainability of the national energy market.

This article was prepared with assistance from Lauren Murphy and Odette Adams.