The Clean Energy Council says that the Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO) 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) confirms the urgent need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and energy storage, replace coal-fired power stations, and deliver a more reliable grid that protects customers from high and volatile power prices.
The customer will be the ultimate beneficiary of implementing the clear and transparent roadmap set out by the 2022 ISP.
"AEMO is forecasting $28 billion in net market benefits, which will be passed on through cheaper electricity bills," said Thornton.
The 2022 ISP outlines the case for building 141 GW of large-scale wind and solar capacity, 63 GW of storage and hydro capacity and 69 GW of small-scale solar and household batteries that is needed by 2050 to maintain reliability and keep prices down. This represents a ninefold increase in large-scale renewable generation installed in the National Electricity Market and a five-fold increase in small-scale generation.
"The message is clear that Australia needs to bring more clean, low-cost energy powered by renewables into the system, and it needs to do so urgently," said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
"Australia is in the midst of an energy crisis caused by unreliable coal generation and the failure of global fossil-fuel markets. The ISP clearly identifies that reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is key to delivering Australian energy independence. This is needed to protect customers from the recent price spikes that saw the market nearly collapse.
"Having thirty per cent of coal-fired generation offline also added to the crisis. The 2022 ISP suggests that 60 per cent of this unreliable and dirty electricity source will have retired by the end of the current decade, so we need to ensure replacement renewable generation, storage and transmission is being built in anticipation of this.
"New transmission will create a modern electricity grid that ensures clean power flows from renewable energy projects to customers. Complemented with storage and coordinated investment in renewables will help maintain supply for consumers, while reducing the risks of the recent price shocks we are currently seeing."
The ISP recognises that Australian homes will continue to play a key role in this transition, with five times more rooftop solar providing one-third of renewable capacity by 2050.
"To smoothly integrate that energy from Australian consumers into the grid, we will need our solar and battery systems - and other appliances - to be more intelligent and better able to communicate and respond to market signals. More energy storage on the grid will also help with integration."
The clean energy industry looks forward to working with AEMO, market bodies and governments across Australia to ensure that the policy and regulatory settings unlock the massive levels of investment needed to deliver the future outlined in the ISP and a lower cost, more reliable and clean energy system for Australia.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Clean Energy Council Media Manager
+61 409 470 683