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.