The independent Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) recent 2020 “Electricity Statement of Opportunities” report clearly shows Victorians will be paying more on their power bills under Daniel Andrews and lays bare the unreliability of Victoria’s electricity network.
AEMO also found that the Victorian Labor Government will, contrary to its political spin, be introducing fewer renewables than the New South Wales and Queensland Governments over the long-term.
Some detailed conclusions included:
1. Delays in commissioning 1900MW of renewable energy previously promised to be operational by late 2020 will increase the unserved energy risks needs in Victoria (p 3). This led AEMO to say that ‘uncertainty in the forecast [has] increased’ (p 51).
2. This unserved energy risk means a greater likelihood of involuntary load shedding, blackouts, transmission issues and outages (pages 126 and 135).
3. AEMO must compensate for these unserved energy risks by using emergency electricity reserves, known as the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT). The expensive RERT added an extra $24.5 million to Victorian power costs in 2018-19 and $11.43 million in 2019-20 (p 7).
4. AEMO notes Victorian ‘forced outage rates have increased’. This increases the use of the costly RERT (p 52). Victorians are all too aware of this, with over 200,000 homes blacked-out over the summer months.
5. AEMO assumes there are 4,300MW of renewables operational in Victoria (p 52). However, the Victorian Department of Planning estimates there is only 550MW of large scale solar and 2,300MW of wind operational at maximal capacity. Therefore, AEMO’s prediction likely overestimates the real supply of Victorian renewables.
6. AEMO shows that Victoria has the second-lowest amount of proposed renewable energy generation coming into the system beyond 2020, with only 8,000MW proposed beyond 2020, compared to 16,000MW in NSW and almost 18,000MW in Queensland (p 46).
In short, AEMO’s most recent report has found that Victoria’s electricity supply is heavily reliant upon renewable energy that is not yet fully operational, which will contribute to a risk of increased blackouts.
When these renewables projects experience either delays in completion or reduced capacity, as they often do, Victorians are dependent on the highly expensive RERT to keep lighting our homes.
This report shows Victoria has less than half of the new proposed renewable capacity predicted for New South Wales and Queensland.
Daniel Andrews and Labor have simply failed to plan our State’s renewable energy transition.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables, Ryan Smith:
“AEMO’s report is damning, predicting an increase in the likelihood of Victorians needing to use emergency power reserves to keep the lights on and cool their homes this summer.
“The Andrews Labor Government has wasted almost $36 million of Victorians’ tax dollars over the last two summers on emergency power because of its poor planning means our power grid can’t meet demand.”