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Keeping the lights on: Committee to examine future energy generation and storage

Issue date: Thursday, 25 March 2021

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The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy today launched a new inquiry into dispatchable energy generation and storage capability in Australia. 

Committee Chair, Ted O’Brien MP said that “Australia’s energy system is changing. We are seeing rapid growth in renewable energy and the retirement of thermal energy capabilities which creates a risk of unintended consequences.

“As older power stations leave the market, we can’t rely on intermittent renewables alone to keep the lights on and the costs down,” said Mr O’Brien.

“We need sufficient dispatchable generation capacity to balance renewables, so the electricity system is affordable, reliable and secure. Our new inquiry will tackle this generational challenge by assessing both sides of the equation - generation and storage.

“It’s not just about how the system works today but how it might work in the future, so we’ll assess the future need for dispatchability and the potential for different types of technology.

“We will learn from what’s happening elsewhere in the world to address this challenge while exploring opportunities for Australia to export dispatchable zero-emissions power to others.

“We’re at a turning point in how our electricity market operates and how we respond will be a major determinant of our strength as a nation well into the future. We have to get it right.”

Further information, including the inquiry’s full terms of reference, is available on its website.

The Committee will accept submissions addressing the terms of reference until 7 May 2021.

Media inquiries

Mr Ted O’Brien MP (Fairfax, QLD), Committee Chair
Media Advisor, 0401 257 064

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4580

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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