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New Integrated System Plan provides much-needed guidance on clean energy transformation

The first Integrated System Plan released by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) today provides a long-overdue look at transforming the nation’s energy system at the lowest possible cost to customers, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the move to a smarter and cleaner energy system is well underway, but needs to be well managed to keep costs down while continuing to deliver a resilient energy system.

“Appropriate strengthening of the energy network and transmission backbone will help to better access our world-class renewable resources and increase the resilience of the power grid,” Mr Thornton said.

“Whether the nation’s coal-fired power stations close earlier than expected or continue to operate to the end of their design life, one thing is clear: many of them will close over the next few decades and must be replaced.

“The AEMO report is unequivocal – over the medium and long term the lowest-cost option for a strong system is renewable energy, supported by large-scale energy storage such as pumped hydro and batteries, along with more rooftop solar and household batteries, and interconnection between states.

“The idea of renewable energy zones in areas of Queensland, New South Wales and beyond makes sense. Building projects in clusters in areas where there is a fantastic sun or wind resource increases the efficiency of building new poles and wires to those areas to connect them to the rest of the energy system. These zones are starting to happen organically, and better planning is absolutely welcome.

“The clean energy industry looks forward to working with AEMO to turn these plans into reality as Australia moves closer to a clean energy future.”

The Integrated System Plan is available from the AEMO website.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.