The Australian Energy Market Commission’s 2017-2018 annual report was released today, highlighting the fundamental redesign of the electricity wholesale market so it can embrace new technologies that enable the power system to operate in more dynamic ways.
AEMC Chief Executive, Mrs Anne Pearson, said the organisation’s focus was on striking the right balance in its work program between major systemic changes, like the introduction of five minute settlement in the wholesale market – and the nuts and bolts progressive rule changes required to keep the power system secure and regulatory frameworks up to date.
“The historic move to five minute settlement will provide a better price signal for investment in fast response technologies, such as batteries, new generation gas peaker plants and demand response. These fast responders are needed to support the increasing penetration of variable generation in the market,” Mrs Pearson said.
“At the same time we have rolled out a series of new rules to help customers deal with their retailers: requiring notifications when discounts end and preventing plans which only offer discounts on inflated rates, requiring advance notice of price changes and more timely installation of meters, and allowing consumers to submit meter self-reads.
“A reform package of rules to help the market operator address immediate system security issues commenced in July 2018 introducing specific, targeted solutions which will help keep the system in a secure operating state.”
In 2017-2018 the Commission completed the most rule changes in a single year since it was established in 2005.
The number of AEMC Commissioners expanded from three to a total of five with the appointment of Ms Michelle Shepherd, Ms Allison Warburton and Mr Charles Popple who joined Chairman John Pierce AO and Mr Brian Spalding. Mr Neville Henderson retired on 16 February 2018.
“We would also like to recognise our stakeholders’ willingness to commit time and resources to bring about lasting change; the volume of work produced by AEMC staff reached unprecedented levels this year and consultation and engagement on these projects involved almost one thousand meetings between our senior staff and stakeholders,” said Mrs Pearson.
The Australian Energy Market Commission’s annual report was tabled in the South Australian Parliament on 6 November 2018.