Report warns of increased blackout risks in Australia-Xinhua

Report warns of increased blackout risks in Australia

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-21 09:25:00

CANBERRA, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The operator of Australia's electricity grid has warned of a heightened risk of blackouts due to delays to key projects.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on Tuesday released an update to its 10-year outlook for the National Electricity Market (NEM), renewing calls for urgent investment to guarantee electricity reliability as coal-fired power plants are retired.

Compared to the 2023 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report, the updated document warns blackout risks have increased in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria - Australia's two largest states - from 2024-25 through to 2027-28 and in South Australia (SA) in 2026-27.

It attributed the heightened risk to delays to battery, hydro-storage, wind, solar and transmission projects, including for the EnergyConnect power cable that is now expected to connect the NSW and SA power grids from 2027 instead of 2026.

"The urgency for the timely delivery of transmission, generation and storage, and use of consumer electricity resources to support the grid, remains to meet consumers' energy needs," Daniel Westerman, chief executive of AEMO, said in a media release.

"While new generation and storage capacity continues to increase, project development and commissioning delays are impacting reliability throughout the horizon."

To address the reliability gaps AEMO said it would procure interim reserves to shore up the market over the high-demand summer periods.

It called for timely investment in projects to generate, store and share electricity to manage reliability risks.