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Locking in cheap and reliable energy through the National Electricity Market

30 April 2021

Another important step in delivering a future National Electricity Market (NEM) that is fit-for-purpose, keeping electricity prices low and the lights on has been unveiled today.

The Energy Security Board (ESB) has released a series of options for the future design of the NEM that will support the delivery of reliable, secure and affordable electricity to Australian households and businesses.

The Post-2025 Market Design Options Paper follows the release of a Directions Paper in January and outlines the reform options being considered by the ESB, including:

  • measures to deliver strengthened signals to encourage investment in dispatchable generation capacity and the retention of existing thermal generation for as long as it is needed;
  • improvements to transmission and access arrangements, such as renewable energy zones, to ensure consumers are the beneficiaries; and
  • better enabling demand side participation and integration of distributed renewable energy resources like rooftop solar.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the scale of change underway in our electricity system is unprecedented, and the post-2025 work will ensure the National Electricity Market remains fit-for-purpose into the future.

“The post-2025 work is important work and we must get this right to protect consumers from high prices and reliability risks as technologies in the energy sector change,” Minister Taylor said.

“With the strong growth in variable renewable energy, the post-2025 reforms will strengthen investment signals to encourage dispatchable capacity and deliver a reliable and secure electricity system with lower emissions.

“This important work must deliver affordable, reliable power, supported by the right mix of technologies, deliver value-for-money construction of transmission, where it is needed, and adapt to the significant evolution occurring in our market.

“All governments are responsible for delivering energy outcomes for Australians, which is why we are pursuing a nationally consistent approach to reforms that will deliver an affordable and reliable energy system.

“We are doing this work now, to protect Australians from higher prices and support the jobs and industries that rely on affordable, reliable energy.”

The Post-2025 Market Design is the most critical energy reform governments have been tasked to deliver by National Cabinet.

The NEM plays a key role in our energy system, efficiently delivering electricity to consumers across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

The Government is working to protect the long-term interests of energy consumers by ensuring they have access to affordable and reliable energy.

The ESB’s advice is that final recommendations on Post-2025 Market Design are expected to be delivered to energy ministers in June 2021.

Submissions on the Options Paper are welcome. The closing date for submissions is 9 June 2021. 

The ESB’s Post-2025 Market Design Options Paper is available at: https://energyministers.gov.au/publications/post-2025-market-design-options-%E2%80%93-consultation

Media contact:

Minister Taylor's office: 02 6277 7120