Energy Ministers reach agreement to proceed at pace with urgent reforms

Dept of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water

Australian Energy Ministers right across the political spectrum have come together today, agreeing on the next steps to deal with the major challenges in the Australian energy market – focussing on energy supply, reliability, and affordability, while reducing emissions.

All jurisdictions and market bodies have worked extremely hard to keep the lights on through the recent energy crisis. Ministers agreed to extend the powers of the Australian Energy Market Operator to enable them to manage supply risks to the East Coast gas market for the 2023 winter.

Ministers also agreed to the framework of the National Energy Transformation Partnership as promised at the June meeting.

Under the Partnership, Ministers agreed to:

  • Add an emissions objective to the National Energy Objectives – a long overdue addition.
  • Identify transmission projects of national significance to ensure timely delivery of these projects and ensure better community consultation.
  • Develop a First Nations Clean Energy Strategy co-designed with First Nations people.

Ministers also agreed to take active control of work to ensure firming capacity is in place as the system evolves, taking steps on the best means to manage the risks of the disorderly exit of coal generation.

Ministers thanked the Energy Security Board for the detailed work undertaken so far and agreed the ESB and market bodies will collaborate with, and contribute to the work of Senior Officials, under the leadership of Ministers.

We have seen 4GW of power leave the energy market this decade with only 1GW replaced – and Australian homes and businesses are feeling the consequences of the previous Government’s chaos, denial and delay.

Energy Ministers will maintain momentum on delivering market reform to ensure energy is made more affordable over time and energy security is managed.

There has also been significant progress made on the matters agreed at the last meeting in June with each item completed or on track.

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen thanked state and territory ministers for their collaborative spirit and hard work.

“We have come together and mapped out a pathway through the current energy problems and ways to best avoid further crises down the track,” he said.

“There is no one silver bullet but by working together and empowering key market bodies we are plotting the way forward that will benefit all Australians and the broader economy.

“This Government came to office in May with a comprehensive climate and energy policy.

“The Commonwealth is now building on this reform program with all jurisdictions to deliver much needed long-term certainty to industry and investors.

“Decisions taken today will support reliable energy supply and put downward pressure on prices over the medium to long-term.’

Link to communique – https://www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-ministers/meetings-and-communiques

Update on outcomes of the 8 June 2022 EMM

8 June 2022 Tasking from Energy Ministers Status
1Relevant Energy Ministers to work over the immediate term including with state rail authorities to secure access of sufficient gas and black coal to get generation back online. Completed
2Develop and agree to a new National Energy Transformation Partnership.Completed
3Advance work on the national electricity market reforms, in particular work on the capacity mechanism as a priority to bring on renewables and storage to support stability for the national energy market.Underway
4Energy Ministers noted the existing gas transparency reform package has been recently introduced into the South Australian Parliament and will be passed shortly.Completed prior to the meeting
5Market bodies and Energy Ministers to remind generators of their obligations to the AEMO on up-to-date information, and obligations regarding participant conduct. The AER to continue close market monitoring.Ongoing
6AEMO to provide an urgent update on the east coast gas supply and demand situation.Completed
7The AEMC will re-examine its 2021 Review of the Retailer of Last Resort scheme and market resilienceCompleted
8Officials will prepare and submit an urgent rule change to the AEMC to assist AEMO to manage peak day gas supply shortfalls by enabling them to better utilise storage.Completed
9Energy Ministers will consider additional legislative reform options to enable new gas and electricity contract market monitoring powers for the AER.Underway
10Officials provided a package of gas market proposals to Energy Ministers to consider.Completed

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.