Release of AEMO draft 2020 Integrated System Plan

Media release

12 December 2019

The Australian Energy Market Operator has released its draft roadmap to address future generation and transmission issues the National Electricity Market (NEM) is expected to face over the next 20 years.

AEMO’s draft 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP) identifies key investments needed for Australia’s future energy system. This includes in distributed energy resources, variable renewable energy, supporting dispatchable resources and power system services, and the transmission grid.

For the electricity system to remain reliable, secure and affordable, AEMO outlines the grid will require significant new investment in new renewable resources and up to 21GW in new flexible dispatchable resources in order to firm those variable renewables.

The Morrison Government is taking strong action to address this through our $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund and the Underwriting New Generation Investment program.

Importantly, AEMO has identified that transmission investment will play an important role in managing the intermittency of renewables and to allow the sharing of generation across different regions of the National Electricity Market. The draft 2020 ISP outlines a number of priority transmission projects to address this.

The Morrison Government is working with our state colleagues on a number of these priority projects, including jointly underwriting, with the NSW Government, up to $102 million of early works to accelerate the Queensland–NSW Interconnector (QNI) upgrade earlier this year.

The Government is also working with Tasmania to progress MarinusLink to ensure the project is ‘shovel-ready’ at the time when it can be developed.

Minister Taylor said AEMO’s 2020 ISP draft report reinforces the actions taken by the Government to tackle the challenges the electricity grid faces.

“This highlights the need to balance world-leading levels of investment in solar and wind generation with strong investment in dispatchable generation and transmission”, Minister Taylor said.

“Only that balance will deliver affordable, 24/7 reliable power as our emissions keep falling”.

The Government has carefully built a range of levers and tools to lower energy prices and increase reliability in a rapidly changing NEM to ensure the lights stay on. Everything the Government is doing is designed to put downward pressure on prices and deliver more reliable power to the grid.

The final version of the 2020 ISP will be released by AEMO in June 2020, and I encourage interested parties to engage with AEMO during its consultation on the draft.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction