AEMO Report Weighs Heavily On RET Review

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A recent report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) appears to have had a major impact on the Renewable Energy Target (RET) review panel’s yet to be released findings and recommendations.
  
Last week, the AEMO stated no new thermal baseload electricity generation is required over the next decade to maintain system reliability – and more than 7,500 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity would need to be removed from the market to affect supply adequacy in 2014-15. 
  
The AEMO’s 2014 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) estimates there may be up to 8,950 MW of surplus generation capacity in the National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2014-15.
   
Australia is experiencing an energy glut due to a reduction in electricity consumption and the renewable energy revolution. This is a major threat to the politically powerful fossil fuel generators.
    
According to a brief report on Business Spectator; Dick Warburton, the head of RET review panel, has said the fact Australia would not need to add any generation capacity to meet demand in the next decade had formed “a very large part” of his panel’s findings.
    
Previously, Mr Warburton had reportedly asked for an extension for the review – and the release AEMO’s report may have been the reason why.
    
What has been an excruciatingly long review has already impacted on major renewable energy investment in Australia, with investors understandably being skittish about the future of renewables in this country. Some of those investors may not return.
   
It’s not just large scale renewables that are threatened by a negative outcome of the review. Australia’s Renewable Energy Target also houses the mechanism that provides substantial support for the purchase of home and commercial solar power systems. If this support evaporated, the cost of a solar panel system would increase significantly.