Tasmania Energy Security Taskforce final report released

Hydro Tasmania
Hydro Tasmania

There are no immediate threats to Tasmania’s electricity energy security, according to the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce’s final report released this week.

The state has already adopted several of the recommendations made in the report, with high water storage levels, a fully operational Basslink and the Tamar Valley Power Station available on standby.

“A focus of the final report has been understanding the robustness of different energy security measures to future scenarios, including changing demand and drier conditions,” Taskforce chair Geoff Willis said.

“The analysis showed retention of the Tamar Valley Power Station and maintaining higher water storages are important strategies for managing Tasmania’s energy security in an uncertain future.”

State Energy Minister Matthew Groom said the government has supported all 36 recommendations in the report.

“A number of the key recommendations have either already been implemented or are at an advanced stage of implementation consistent with the timeline set out in the report,” he said.

“The government will continue with the work necessary to fully implement all recommendations as soon as possible.

“The government and Hydro Tasmania have already restored the prudent water storage levels back to the levels they were prior to being cut under the Labor Green Government to chase profits from the carbon tax.

“Dam storage levels are currently at 39 per cent which is significantly above the prudent management level for this time of year.”

Minister Groom said the government had also taken significant steps towards making Tasmania 100 per cent renewable energy self-reliant.

“Recently, we have seen the announcement of more than $600m of new wind farm development,” he said.

“These developments alone will deliver approximately 800GWh per annum of the 700-1000GWh of further on island renewable generation recommended by the taskforce.”

The report acknowledged the importance of securing a fair outcome on gas transportation in order to provide greater certainty for Tasmanian gas users.

“Following the finalisation of the report there have been a number of significant developments on gas which have provided greater certainty for gas users,” Minister Groom said.

“In particular, the Tasmanian Government has successfully secured the early implementation of a new national arbitration framework that will ensure gas transportation certainty from January 2018 onwards.

“In combination the Tasmanian Government’s actions have helped ensure that Tasmania’s energy security position continues to be very sound, especially when compared to the significant uncertainty being experienced in the national market.”

The Final Report further develops the Energy Security Risk Response Framework introduced in the Taskforce’s Interim Report.

It recommends entities to undertake new ‘Monitor and Assessor’ and ‘Energy Security Coordinator’ roles, and presents the Taskforce’s final recommendations on prudent storage levels for Hydro Tasmania’s water storages.

“These two new energy security oversight roles have been designed to improve community confidence in Tasmania’s energy security” Mr Willis said.