In 2017 the Minister for Energy and Utilities established a NSW Energy Security Taskforce to look at how NSW manages energy security and resilience, including readiness, planning, preparation and response capability to extreme events such as weather. The Taskforce released its initial report on 22 May 2017 and its final report on 19 December 2017.
The initial report focused on the actions that could be implemented to deal reliability and security risks for the 2017/18 summer and the final report looked at the longer-term resilience of the NSW electricity systems.
In September 2019, the Minister for Energy and the Environment requested that an Expert Panel, led by the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, provide advice on risks within the national electricity market, especially in relation to summer. This builds on the work of national bodies and focuses on opportunities for the NSW Government to take further action to maintain the reliability of supply in the state.
The Expert Panel delivered the report on 30 October 2019 and will, upon request, provide updates to the review yearly thereafter to 2023. There is significant work being undertaken by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The Panel will draw on this work where possible and focus on areas particularly related to NSW.
AEMO, with which the Panel consulted during the report’s preparation, has forecasted that NSW is well placed for summer 2019/20 noting that the overall risk of unserved energy is well below the reliability standard (0.002%).
However, the Expert Panel noted that there are a number of system and climate risks that could impact the security and reliability of energy supply in NSW for summer 2019/20. A combination of coincident NSW and/or inter-jurisdictional events could lead to a tightening or possible shortfall of supply
The Expert Panel also noted that the shoulder period between seasons is shrinking, with late spring now frequently witnessing summer-like conditions. Accordingly, the report says that the risks to energy security and reliability are no longer limited to summer periods, but should now be considered all year round. This means placing greater emphasis on being prepared for individual situations which pose a threat to energy security beyond summer.
The 2019/20 Panel report was released on 17 December 2019.
The 2018/19 Panel report was released on 28 December 2018.