The Reliability Panel has released key findings from its work to better understand how reliability might change as the energy sector undergoes an unprecedented shift in the transition to net zero.

The insights are set out in a directions paper for stakeholder consultation, following a decision by the Reliability Panel to undertake a review of the form of the reliability standard. 

The Reliability Panel (the Panel) forms part of the Australian Energy Market Commission but independently monitors, reviews, and reports on the safety, security, and reliability of the national electricity system. Its panel of expert advisers represents consumers, the energy industry, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). 

An essential part of the Panel’s work involves reviewing current arrangements to ensure high levels of reliability continue to be provided to meet the needs of households, businesses, and industry over the coming years.

New analysis from the Reliability Panel has shown what the wholesale electricity market will look like as the power system transitions. 

Getting that better understanding of the future is an important first step to allow consideration of the changing reliability risks as the market transforms in a way that we have never seen before.

To understand that challenge better, the Panel developed a model to create an extreme future where there aren't enough resources to meet the needs of customers. 

This was deliberately designed to provide more information on the changing characteristics of outages by greatly exaggerating the number of outages considerably above the level that is likely to occur in the actual power system.  

In this extreme scenario, the modeling has shown a trend for outages to become less frequent but potentially more impactful when they do occur. 

Reliability Panel Chair, Charles Popple, says the model is one of the first of its kind in Australia and has provided interesting insights on potential reliability risks as the energy sector transitions. 

"Our current work to review the form of the reliability standard, as well as the market price settings, is crucial to addressing the changing reliability risk profile. It’s vital for ensuring customers get a level of reliability at a level they value.

"Our task looking forward is to find the right mix of investment signals to create the right mix of assets to support reliability.

“These insights are critical to making sure we have sufficient investment in generation, particularly in the type and duration of storage we need to manage reliability risk as the sector transforms. 

"This modeling is just one step in the process of understanding what we need for the future,” Mr Popple said. 

Stakeholders will have until 19 January 2023 to provide feedback in response to the direction paper. 

Using the model and stakeholder feedback, the Panel will start its work on determining if the current form of the reliability standard remains the right one for the changing national electricity market.

For more information, visit the project page.

Media enquiries: Jessica Rich | 0459 918 964 |