Energy security reviewed as renewables impact the grid

ARENA

A new review will consider whether current regulations are adequate to maintain power system security as the industry transforms.

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) will look into the way regulatory frameworks are dealing with increasing volumes of renewable energy and address possible changes that could lead to more efficient outcomes for energy consumers.

The System Security Market Frameworks Review will consider a range of technical issues including the minimum level of inertia required to effectively stabilise the power system, allowing it to cope with rapid changes in frequency due to significant movements in supply and demand. Other aspects include fast frequency response and localised impacts on fault levels within certain areas of the electricity grid.

“These are just some of the issues which need to be considered holistically,” the AEMC said.

The review will continue the AEMC’s investigation into the impact of renewable energy on system security as highlighted in its 2015 paper Strategic Priorities for Market Development.

Recommendations will be provided to the COAG Energy Council, with an interim report to the nation’s energy ministers due by the end of the year. These will address changes required to the regulatory framework to meet power system security challenges in the National Electricity Market caused by increasing levels of non-synchronous generation.