Build trust and transmission for affordable and reliable energy


RE-Alliance backs the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO’s) national plan for affordable and reliable energy released today, and says governments now need to focus on building trust with regional communities to make it a reality.

RE-Alliance has been working for more than a decade with regional communities hosting large-scale renewable energy projects.

AEMO released a national plan today that confirms the most reliable and cheapest way to power Australian homes and businesses is through renewable energy, connected with transmission and distribution, and firmed by battery storage.

Andrew Bray, National Director of RE-Alliance, said the plan was needed because 90% of Australia’s ageing and unreliable coal-fired power stations will close by 2035, and all of them by 2040.

“Australia expects to generate 82% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The good news is, we’re close to halfway there with 40% of our electricity coming from renewables last year which will increase to 50% by the end of next year,” Mr Bray said.

“Given these ageing coal generators are on their last legs, we need more renewables and storage built now to lower the cost of electricity generation. The longer we wait, the more we’ll pay through our power bills because we need inexpensive renewables to put downward pressure on power bills,” he said.

The biggest priority identified by AEMO’s national plan is to deliver the most urgent new transmission projects that we need to connect renewables.

2,500 km of new transmission is already underway and seven transmission projects have now been identified by AEMO as critical for the national plan – which means community consultation and engagement can get underway.

“AEMO’s plan has clearly identified that a successful shift to an economy powered by renewables is dependent on building trust with regional communities and engaging consumers in the shift,” Mr Bray said.

The plan states: Developers and energy institutions must ensure that those being asked to host infrastructure are engaged early, consistently and respectfully; that voices and concerns are considered and responded to; that negative impacts are minimised wherever possible; and that potential opportunities and benefits are maximised and distributed fairly.1

RE-Alliance has been advocating to government to fund solutions to boost positive outcomes for regional communities hosting renewables infrastructure – such as a network of 50 Local Energy Hubs in Renewable Energy Zones across Australia staffed by trusted, local experts to provide information on topics such as local renewables and transmission projects and household and business electrification.

/Public Release.