Project Summary

In the National Electricity Market (NEM), AEMO, as the market operator, does not balance and optimise new assets added to the grid. It is increasingly evident the NEM does not operate as a “pure” market. Various policy interventions are distorting minimum system cost outcomes. The initial MEGs study of the NEM (Modelling Energy and Grid Services (MEGS) – a continuing case study) was the first to show the trajectory of total system costs (TSC) in response to various technology additions. AEMO‘s Integrated Systems Planning document (ISP) also shows where demand gaps are and indicate potential generation opportunities from renewables. While we recognise the effect of potential technologies to TSC, there is a gap in understanding the impact of various policy and market mechanisms on the essential elements of a competent grid that is being decarbonised.

This study will look at what constitutes a ‘competent grid’ and how does MEGS take that into account. It will explore the market rules and regulations required to achieve the lowest TSC outcome. The project will also study how MEGS can be improved and how enabling infrastructure projects might impact the TSC. A systematic, review of the value of TSC will provide policymakers and investors a more realistic and informative data on which they can make decisions.

Available Reports

Snowy 2.0 and Beyond: the Value of Large-Scale Energy Storage

The most recent ANLEC R&D report on energy technology investment is revealing for what it would take to achieve an aspiration of 90% emissions reduction from the electricity generation sector. This is important in the context of a National aspiration to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

One important conclusion from the study is Fossil fuel CCS underpins the grid irrespective of the level of VRE penetration.

The lowest cost asset portfolio meeting the target of a competent grid with 90% emissions reduction will require nearly 45GW of fossil fuel capacity. This is the size of our current fossil fleet, however, it will include low emissions closed-cycle gas+CCS and coal+CCS.

Project Name:
The role of electricity systems modelling in optimising planning decisions

Research Organisation:
Gamma Energy Technology Pty Ltd

In Progress

Geoff Bongers, Andy Boston, Stephanie Byrom


Research Program: Techno-Economic Analysis
Demonstration: General (Techno-Economic Analysis)
Research Focus: Energy scenarios modelling, Techno-Economic Assessment

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