National framework and Step Change for the future
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has published its Draft 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP). The ISP proposes a 30-year ‘optimal development path’ for electricity investment in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
Stakeholders overwhelmingly nominated Step Change as the most likely future scenario. This scenario meets Australia’s net zero policy commitments, along with technology advancements and consumer preferences.
AEMO CEO, Daniel Westerman, said changes already underway in the NEM have considerably exceeded forecasts in the 2020 ISP Central scenario.
‘This transformation will efficiently deliver secure, reliable and affordable electricity while substantially contributing to national emissions objectives,’ Mr Westerman said. ‘It is essential that communities, governments and industry collaborate to meet the aspirations of consumers and the communities that will host new infrastructure.’
Enabling the efficient transition for the NEM is forecast to deliver $29 billion in net market benefits, returning 2.5 times the investment value.
The Step Change (Central) scenario anticipates a transformation of the NEM to 2050 including:
- a near doubling of electricity consumed from the grid, to 330 terawatt hours (TWh) as transport, heating, cooking and industrial processes are electrified
- construction of 9 times the NEM’s current utility-scale wind and solar generation capacity, from 15 GW to 140 GW
- installation of 4 times the current distributed PV capacity (from 15 GW to 70 GW), most coupled with an energy storage system
- 3 times the firming capacity that can respond to a dispatch signal.
Stakeholder consultation on the Draft 2022 ISP, including public forums and written submissions, will be open until 11 February 2022.
NEM prepares for Step Change AEMO