Australia must have enough electricity available when people need it, and at the lowest cost. We want to encourage the right amount of investment in the power system’s long-term capacity so the operator isn’t forced to intervene more than necessary with higher cost safety-net options. We are expanding the framework to encourage the efficient adoption of new technologies and more transparent information so decisions made by market participants, the operator, regulators and policy makers are better informed.

We are also working on adapting the intervention framework including directions, instructions and strategic reserves so it is fit for the changing power system and only used when necessary. 

See more about transitioning to a lower emissions power system.

Reliability work plan

The national electricity market is designed to have enough generation capacity to meet consumers' demand for power. This capacity is provided through:

  • generation – from large, centralised generators like hydro, coal and gas plants and wind and solar farms, as well as decentralised generation like rooftop solar 
  • demand response – when customers agree to reduce their electricity use in return for a payment or other reward. 

In July 2018 the AEMC published a final report into NEM Reliability frameworks which looked at:

  • market mechanisms that guide investment and operational decisions to deliver reliable power supply, and
  • tools that can be used to intervene if the market doesn’t deliver reliable power supply.

Reliability frameworks: recommended actions


See how we are progressing the recommendations from this review in our Reliability work plan

AEMC’s system security and reliability action plan

Our reliability work plan is part of the AEMC’s broader system security and reliability work program. We are developing market frameworks which allow continued take-up of new generating technologies while keeping the lights on at the least cost to consumers.

Our forward looking work program on energy and emissions

The power system is transitioning, with a large number of renewable generators like wind and solar farms connecting, while older generators are retiring. At the household level, the last decade has seen a significant increase in the uptake of new technologies such has rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, battery storage and ‘smart’ energy management systems.

New technologies provide opportunities and challenges. The AEMC is supporting the transition to a lower emissions power sector by making rules and providing advice on:

  • integrating energy and emissions policy
  • least cost solutions to keep the lights on as the power system transitions
  • integrating new technology into the power system by identifying and addressing potential barriers in regulatory frameworks.

See more about transitioning to a lower emissions power system.