The renewable energy-reliant states of Tasmania and South Australia have been singled out as the biggest risk to Australia’s energy security, as stated in the Finkel Review and to be reviewed at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra as reported in an article from www.afr.com
The initial report into the future energy security of the National Electricity Market (NEM) also backed a clear national approach in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector. As the current Turnbull government ruled out emissions intensity scheme for the electricity sector, the review’s draft report stated that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was backed by the country’s top energy regulators like the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator.
The 58-page report highlighted South Australia and Tasmania as the biggest threats to maintaining power system security and reliability due to their reliance on other states to boost their energy supply.
The report said that Tasmania was too reliant on the Basslink interconnector from Victoria to enhance its power supply. It said the 6-month outage from late 2015 exposed the fact that in some circumstances, the state could not produce enough of its own hydro power to meet its requirements. There will be a danger of over-reliance on other states through interconnection rather than ensuring balanced local generation.
South Australia which gets 40% of its power from wind and solar experienced a state-wide blackout in September, is also a major risk to the NEM. Over time, these risks may surely impact the security of all 5 NEM regions. This is specifically when a region becomes separated from the NEM and must depend on their own resources to manage the power system security. This is just the case of South Australia being at the tail end of the grid.
Featured Image Credit: Nicolò Bonazzi