Australians don’t need to sacrifice energy security, ENA reports says

Electricity transmission towers (reliability panel)
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A new report has found Australian energy consumers do not have to sacrifice security of supply or affordability to achieve a low emissions future, if action is taken now.

The two-year analysis by CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia has produced a comprehensive plan to keep the lights on, bills affordable and decarbonise electricity.

As Australian Governments meet to discuss energy security, the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap confirms reliable supply can be maintained during Australia’s transition to a more decentralised, clean electricity system.

Energy Networks Australia chief executive officer John Bradley said Australian families would be better off by $414 per year on average under the Roadmap’s suite of measures.

“The Roadmap would transform Australia’s electricity system, enabling more choice and control for millions of customers while saving over $100 billion by 2050,” Mr Bradley said.“If we act now, the grid will be more secure and resilient, despite high growth in large scale renewables and two-thirds of small customers taking up solar and storage by 2050.”

CSIRO chief economist energy Paul Graham said a key finding was that $16 billion in network expenditure could be saved by 2050 if the grid buys support services from customers with onsite resources.

“Under the Roadmap, traditional network investments can be avoided where it costs less to orchestrate distributed resources in the right place at the right time and this saves money for all grid users,” Mr Graham said.

“By 2050, over 10 million customers will own distributed resources like solar, storage, home energy management systems and electric vehicles which they can use to sell grid support services worth $2.5 billion per year.”

Mr Bradley said the Roadmap would require collaborative action by grid operators, governments and other parties.

“Grid operators can act directly on many parts of the Roadmap including transforming their customer relationships, service innovation, smart grid operations and developing new incentives for customers,” Mr Bradley said.

“However, a better energy future will need clear market signals. A key objective of the 2017 review of carbon policy must be securing a stable and enduring framework which will reduce the cost and uncertainty of decarbonisation.

“Australian electricity customers want an electricity future which avoids more frequent blackouts and bill shock while addressing global warming – this is their Roadmap.”

AusNet Services announced it is actively pursuing the goal of a secure, affordable low-emissions future set out by the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap.

“It is absolutely possible for Australia to meet our goals of energy security, reliability and decarbonisation – and to significantly reduce the cost of this transformation,” said AusNet Services Managing Director Nino Ficca, who is also chairman of the ENA.

“AusNet Services welcomes this landmark report from ENA and CSIRO. A significant body of research and modelling has gone into the ENTR.

“If we start adopting these policies we will be on the path to a smart energy transition.”


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