19 Dec 2017
A special taskforce has recommended the NSW Government be more proactive in managing risks to our energy security as the national energy market undergoes a period of unprecedented change and innovation.
The Energy Security Taskforce was established to examine risks to and the resilience of the state’s electricity system after it came under pressure on 10 February during a late summer heatwave.
The Taskforce, chaired by Chief Scientist & Engineer Mary O’Kane, has today released its Final Report, recommending the NSW Government adopt a more proactive approach to managing short- and medium-term risks, including during prolonged periods of extreme heat.
“The next decade will be a period of transition and disruption for the National Energy Market (NEM) – and with that comes opportunities for innovation to increase the future reliability and security of the state’s electricity system,” Professor O’Kane said.
The Taskforce made recommendations across several key areas including:
* emerging risks to the electricity system, including from extreme weather
* regulatory barriers to new capacity entering the market and the opportunities associated with technology and new business models that could improve security and reliability in NSW
* risks to NSW and the Sydney CBD, in particular, of a ‘black system’ event and how the Government might reduce these risks and ensure we’re well prepared in the unlikely event of a state-wide blackout.
“The Government must be alive to risks over coming years so that it can manage emerging risks proactively when needed,” Professor O’Kane said.
The Taskforce has made a total of nine recommendations to the NSW Government to assist it in managing risks to the state’s electricity system.
It has also urged the Government to continue its leadership role at COAG (through the COAG Energy Council) to promote focus on issues of strategic importance across the whole NEM, and encourage energy innovation by harnessing the R&D strengths of the state’s universities and other research institutions.
The Energy Security Taskforce’s Final Report, including its recommendations, is available here.