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Key members of the energy industry have responded to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) recently published draft of the 2020 Integrated System Plan.

Energy Consumers Australia, the Clean Energy Council and Energy Networks Australia have shared their comments on the draft.

Energy Consumers Australia CEO, Rosemary Sinclair, said, “We welcome the commitment from AEMO to establish an ISP Consumer Reference Group in early 2020, with its remit to consider all aspects of the plan, including modelling inputs and interpretation.

“This second iteration of the Integrated System Plan is encouraging because it takes greater account of the extraordinary energy transformation at a local level, where many consumers are embracing digitisation and decentralisation of energy to control their energy costs.”

Ms Sinclair said the publication of the draft provided an opportunity for additional scrutiny about new infrastructure to safeguard affordability.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said that the draft delivered a dynamic and actionable roadmap, while indicating that renewable energy was the best option for the future. 

“The ISP points to a highly diverse future energy system where over 30 GW of new utility-scale renewable generation is needed, and distributed energy generation is expected to double or even triple to provide 13 to 22 per cent of the total annual National Electricity Market consumption,” he said.

“The ISP rightly identifies that to unlock this exciting new energy potential, significant investment in the transmission network is needed.

“As we have consistently said, a clear roadmap for transmission development is imperative in order to build investor confidence for new clean energy generation – which is urgently needed to ensure new generation is in place before our ageing coal power plants retire.”

Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, echoed these sentiments, saying the draft charted a secure, reliable and low-cost pathway for the development of the grid as our electricity generation transformed.

“A coordinated national approach to incorporating new generation, transmission and system support into the grid is essential as coal-fired generation retires over the next 20 years,” he said.

“Throughout the world, the logical response to ever-increasing amounts of variable generation from renewables has been more interconnection between markets.

“This delivers what customers need: better reliability, more flexibility and downward pressure on wholesale prices.”

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