In the 2022 Australian elections, the Labor party policy on energy said a Labor Government will rewire the nation to drive down power prices, give the economy a boost of up to $40 billion and create thousands of new jobs – particularly in regional areas, but the question is who owns Australias Electricity Grid? Renewable Energy is already being adopted. The policy says Australia should be a renewable energy superpower, but our electricity transmission system is desperately outdated. basically says it follows the ISP that was put up.
BUT there is the comment in that policy that they will create a new “Rewiring the Nation Corporation” (RNC) and keep it in public hands as a government-owned entity!
So the question what is this proposed public corporation? Would they nationalise the private grid companies?
Details of Labor Rewiring Australia Policy
The modelling detail of the Labor Party policy is here in Reputex Report. Well worth the read
Existing Ownership of Australias Electricity and Grid
Existing ownership is complex as previous state governments have privatise or sold off the distribution companies, and separated generation, distribution and retailers.
- Western Australia, Tasmania, and Northern Territory retain full ownership of all elements of their electricity networks
- Queensland owns its generation, distribution and transmission of electricity, but the retail market has been privatised. They have set up CleanCo for their RE generators
- NSW AusGrid is half owned by NSW (49.6%) and AusSuper (50.4%)
- Victoria is privately owned. Ausnet Services is owned 31.1% by Singapore Power, 19.9% by State Grid Corporation of China and the other 49% is publicly owned
- SA Power Networks is 51% owned by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited and Power Assets Holdings Limited, which form part of the Cheung Kong Group of companies. (Temasek out of Singapore) The remaining 49% is owned by Spark Infrastructure, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Plans for Improvements to the National Grid Structure
There is an Integrated System Plan, and the latest Draft in 2022 details what is needed.
Transmission Network Plans
Renewable Energy in the Step Change Grid
Increasingly, AEMO must engineer the power system to operate securely through periods of 100% instantaneous penetration of renewable generation. Based on resource potential in the most likely Step Change scenario, the ISP projects that those periods may commence by 2025, in periods of low demand, andAEMO page 41 of Integrated System Plan 2022.
then become more frequent. At times the renewable penetration will exceed the instantaneous demand for electricity from consumers, with storage helping absorb the excess.
By the mid-2040s, electricity supply is expected to be generated almost exclusively from renewable resources, with energy storages helping manage their seasonality and intermittency, and peaking gas generation providing firming support. By 2040, 100% instantaneous renewable penetration is projected to be achieved 36% of the time and 65% by 2050 (see Figure 16), unless constrained due to system security or other operability constraints in the network.
Many in the renewable sector do not view gas as a product that will have any place in the plan, due to the rise of hydrogen. Read more about green hydrogen here.