Energy Innovation Toolkit to Help Energy Businesses Launch New Technology

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has launched an online portal, the Energy Innovation Toolkit, that can help energy businesses understand the National Electricity Market (NEM) regulations. Additionally, the portal is designed to help energy businesses explore their options when launching new energy business models under existing frameworks. 

The Energy Innovation Toolkit

Supported by an Innovation Enquiry Service (IES) and secure data lodgment portal, the online portal will help innovators get in touch with the Energy Innovation Toolkit should they have specific regulatory enquiries. 

The IES will provide information on the energy regulations that might apply to their business idea. It will also provide options to launch under current energy frameworks and connect businesses with energy sector stakeholders.

It also has trial waivers and rules to provide a workaround to let innovators test their business models that would ordinarily be blocked under existing energy regulatory frameworks. The innovators are required to report regularly on trial progress and outcomes so the evidence can inform future regulation and policy change. 

Currently, they are accepting trial applications from Victorian energy frameworks under the Victorian Regulatory Sandboxing function. 

Regulatory Sandboxing is a policy tool that is designed to help frameworks adapt to fast changes. Through this, proof-of-concept trials will operate under relaxed regulatory settings, enabling innovative business models and technologies to be tested in a real-world setting. What comes out of these trials will be analysed and provided to policymakers as evidence to inform upcoming regulatory changes. 

Though, they will not accept applications requiring relief from national energy frameworks during this time but will accept them after Regulatory Sandboxing legislation is enacted. 

The toolkit also comes with FAQs, explainers, regulatory use cases, and interactive regulation tools. 


The Full Scope of the Energy Toolkit

The toolkit doesn’t have jurisdiction to issue or consider a waiver related to Western Australia and the Northern Territory. However, it has jurisdiction to handle enquiries and consider or approve trial applications related to the NEM. The NEM covers the following states: 

  • Queensland
  • New South Wales (NSW)
  • Australia Capital Territory (ACT)
  • Victoria
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania

The toolkit is supported by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Essential Services Commission of Victoria (ESC), and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). 

The combined expertise of the regulatory bodies enables the AER to make targeted referrals if a question falls under any of them. 

The new toolkit will support the country’s transition to a renewable energy generation and storage model. Its success will be driven by how quickly new technology and innovation can penetrate the market. 

The regulatory landscape is often overwhelming for new energy businesses. However, with this new tool, things should be a lot easier and smooth-sailing. 

According to the AER, new energy laws that will be introduced later this year will broaden the online service to grant temporary waivers and trials. 

How It Helps Consumers

By giving energy businesses a one-stop shop to access multiple regulatory bodies, it opens a way for discussion that will drive innovation and market competition that will help them test ideas. In turn, they will be able to achieve better outcomes for consumers today to switch to renewable energy. 

Indeed, it’s an exciting time in Australia for renewable energy with a range of various factors, such as new technologies, changing consumer preferences, and national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Technologies That are Revolutionising Australia’s Energy Landscape

Here are the most important technologies in renewable energy that continue to shape the energy market. 

Wind and Solar

Wind turbines and solar panels continue to have the biggest impacts on renewable energy that have transformed the market. It is expected that renewable energy will make up 30 per cent of the world’s energy by 2024, and most of it will be driven by solar and wind projects. 


Electrification advancements will also help super-charge the shift to renewable, and this trend is already visible in other parts of the world. 

Energy Storage

There is huge energy storage potential to boost the shift to renewables. This is because it will be necessary due to variable wind and solar production. Today, a growing number of energy storage technologies are being launched. 

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