How will the Government ensure the reliability of our electricity supply when we are 100% renewable by 2020?
The ACT is connected to the national energy grid which runs from Queensland, through the eastern states to Tasmania and South Australia. Because the location of the renewable energy supply needed to reach the target is not critical to its emission reduction effect, it does not need to be generated in the ACT region and will be sourced from generators located across eastern and southern Australia.
This means the Territory will not have any concerns about future supply reliability because it will continue to be able to source electricity as part of the National Electricity Market.
All of the renewable electricity that the Territory will count towards the target is financially supported by the Territory’s electricity consumers. Because wind is currently the lowest cost renewable electricity type, it will account for around 90% of the supply needed to reach the target while solar and hydro power will make up the balance.
The 100% target is a ‘net’ target. Sometimes our fleet of generators will produce more than the Territory needs, sometimes less. Over the course of 2020 we estimate this will net out to ensure the 100% target is met.
We do recognise the need for energy storage as Australia transitions to high penetration renewable energy networks in the future. The ACT Government is supporting this through its Next Generation Energy Storage Grants program, which incentivises the deployment of energy storage technology throughout the Territory.