Finkel: Overhaul of NEM necessary for renewables

Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel, who has been appointed to conduct a major review into the sector, has said changes to the grid to integrate new technologies would require a major overhaul of the National Electricity Market (NEM).

According to the Australian Financial Review, Dr Finkel acknowledged the closure of Hazelwood power station would have implications for the NEM.

Dr Finkel said ensuring electricity supply was secure and reliable, affordable and would help lower the nation’s carbon emissions over time, would underpin the review.

He also said choice for consumers was crucial, but it may come at a cost.

“Choice means the freedom to put the grid we share to work in a way that each of us wants, for our household, or our business or our town. But choice can bring cost implications, so we have to be careful,” Dr Finkel said.

Dr Finkel commented that governments need to set the right framework to allow the private sector to adapt to new renewable energy technologies for the NEM.

Dr Finkel will be joined by an expert panel to complete a final report by the first half of next year.