In October 2016, in the wake of a major blackout in the state of South Australia, the Council of Australian Governments directed the country’s chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, to draft a blueprint for energy security in the National Electricity Market.
Consultation on this blueprint covers a broad range of issues facing the Australian electricity market, primarily centred around how to ensure the delivery of electricity that is clean, reliable and affordable. The review is taking place during a period of heightened political and community concern over electricity price increases, the exit of traditional coal generation, increasing penetration of intermittent forms of renewable power, and high degrees of carbon and policy risk which are inhibiting investment in other much needed technologies. Recommendations arising from this review will factor into a broader review of Australia’s climate policy to take place over 2017.
The Institute provided its submission to this review of the electricity market on 21 February 2017. It contains analysis demonstrating that CCS is necessary among a full suite of options in achieving a low emissions power grid at least cost, that it can complement intermittent sources of renewable power, and it is cost competitive with the full range of generation and energy storage options being considered.