The AEMC will publish a draft report on its Distribution Market Model project in May 2017. The project seeks to explore how the operation and regulation of electricity distribution networks may need to change in the future to accommodate an increased uptake of distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar systems, battery storage and electric vehicles.

The draft report will:

  • clarify the project scope, key definitions and market design principles in response to stakeholder submissions on the approach paper that was published in December 2016
  • set out the key characteristics of a potential evolution to a future where investment in and operation of distribution energy resources is ‘optimised’ to the extent possible
  • assess the barriers to this sort of evolution occurring
  • where relevant, make recommendations on ways to address those barriers, or identify where they are being examined or addressed through other processes.

The AEMC intends to provide opportunities for stakeholders to discuss the draft report with AEMC staff and other stakeholders once it is published, for example in a workshop. Further information about these opportunities will be provided closer to the date.

Input from stakeholders on the draft report will be used to inform the development of a final report.

The AEMC had previously proposed to hold stakeholder workshops in lieu of publishing a draft report. However, given the complexity of the issues under consideration, the AEMC believes it will be valuable for stakeholders to have an opportunity to review and respond to the AEMC’s preliminary findings before it publishes a final report.

The Distribution Market Model project forms part of the AEMC’s technology work program, which explores the flexibility and resilience of energy market arrangements in responding to technological change. The AEMC needs to have a strong understanding of new market dynamics to inform its rule making work and market development advice to governments.