Victoria has led the Commonwealth and other States in securing a review into how reliability is measured across the electricity system, paving the way for improvements to energy reliability and prices.
Minister for Energy Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the review was a win for all energy users, but flagged it was just the first of many issues facing the energy system that need to be addressed.
After a year of inaction, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council made progress on a number of key reforms at Friday’s meeting including updating the reliability standard, key transmission projects and the National Hydrogen Strategy.
Victoria’s push for more frequent meetings was also successful – with the next meeting date set for March 2020.
The new meeting date will help to ensure that tangible changes to the reliability standard – as recommended by the Energy Security Board (ESB) – can be implemented ahead of next summer.
Getting the reliability framework right will be instrumental in keeping the power on during our hottest days, promote new investment and help to drive down wholesale prices – which is the outcome we want for Victorian consumers.
Transmission upgrades were also a focus, with all Ministers eager to see AEMO’s Integrated System Plan (ISP) actioned quickly. It was agreed the ESB would draft rules to help fast-track the ISP and provide these for discussion and agreement at the next meeting in March.
This is the next step in moving forward with priority transmission projects like KerangLink, which will help open-up our renewable energy projects in North Western Victoria and provide a vital energy highway between Victoria and New South Wales.
While the meeting was productive, the work is by no means over. Victoria, like other states, remains concerned about the lack of integrated national energy and emissions policy and the signals this sends to the wider industry.
Without the Commonwealth joining the States to take real action on climate change and decarbonise our energy system, industry will not have enough certainty to invest – ultimately putting our reliability at risk.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’ve had a win today for Victorians and indeed all Australians – to have reliability put under the microscope and these outdated rules addressed at the highest levels.”
“This has been good start in terms of dealing with some of the regulatory reform bottlenecks we’ve been facing and getting the new transmission we need to support our strong and ambitious renewable energy projects.”
“But it’s not over and we’ll keep pushing for more decisive action – particularly when it comes to a national energy policy beyond 2020 that integrates energy and climate policy.”