New report to help integrate record levels of renewable electricity

A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has highlighted the challenges of integrating record amounts of renewable energy generation into the National Electricity Market.  AEMO has released the first stage of its Renewable Integration Study, which is a technical analysis of the steps to be taken so that the electricity market could operate reliably and securely with higher levels of renewable energy.  Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said AEMO highlighted the challenges around the increased use of solar and wind generation, and said the report was a valuable contribution to the discussion and planning for Australia’s energy security.  “Last year was a record year for the installation of new renewable capacity in Australia, with more wind and solar capacity installed than ever before,” Minister Taylor said.  “But the AEMO study recognises solar and wind generation alone aren’t enough, minimum levels of inertia that is ordinarily provided by synchronous generation – such as a gas-fired power station – will be crucial to maintaining the security of any large power system.”  Australia continues to be a world leader in renewable energy. In 2019 almost 23 per cent of electricity generation in the National Electricity Market came from renewable energy, up from 20 per cent in 2018.   Based on analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency, on a per capita basis, Australia is installing renewable energy at ten times the global average.  The Morrison Government has already been working to ensure Australia’s energy systems remain reliable and affordable as more renewables are brought online, Minister Taylor said.  “I have tasked the Energy Security Board, through the COAG Energy Council, to recommend immediate, interim and long-term reforms to strengthen the security of the National Electricity Market,” Minister Taylor said.  “The Government’s $1.38 billion investment in Snowy 2.0, the Underwriting New Generation Investments program, and the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund will provide the long-term storage and firming required to support the secure operation of the electricity market.  “These programs, along with ongoing investments from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), form a suite of measures that the Government is delivering to ensure that the lights stay on and drive down prices.  “The Government is committed to continue working through the COAG Energy Council, industry and stakeholders to provide Australians with secure, reliable and affordable electricity into the future.”  The AEMO Renewable Integration Study is available on the AEMO websiteMedia ContactsMinister Taylor’s office 02 6277 7120