Tasmanian future state NEM analysis

The face of the Australian energy market is changing rapidly with increasing prominence of renewable energy sources.

Hydro Tasmania is analysing and modelling how the National Electricity Market (NEM) might evolve in the future.

From these ‘future state’ scenarios, we can develop a pathway of possible development opportunities for Tasmania to make a greater contribution to a future NEM, through delivering significantly more affordable and reliable clean energy.

Future state overview

We know that the future NEM will be vastly different to today

  • Reliance on fossil fuels (such as coal) for bulk energy supply will significantly diminish as these power stations age and are retired.
  • Low or zero emission sources such as wind and solar will dominate supply.

But what does that mean?
  • There will be a much greater requirement for reliable, flexible and ‘dispatchable’ generation.
  • Large-scale responsive generation that can rapidly ramp up to meet demand will be even more critical than today.

What can Tasmania deliver?
Our early analysis shows that Tasmania’s superior wind resource, existing hydropower assets and untapped pumped hydro potential can deliver a future that’s clean, reliable and affordable, at a time when Australia needs reliable, large-scale dispatchable generation.

Here’s a look at some of the positive findings so far…

Tasmania’s significant hydropower potential
We know that wind and solar will play a much larger role in energy supply in the future. They are highly variable sources of energy, so need to be complemented by storage that can provide energy when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.

There are currently very few technologies that can cost-effectively do this.

Pumped hydro energy storage has the greatest potential to complement wind and solar because it can store clean energy on a large scale to use during periods of low energy production.

Tasmania is already well positioned, with substantial existing hydropower storages, which can be repurposed to provide a different function.

With this increased capacity through pumped hydro, new wind generation and additional interconnection, Tasmania could both guarantee on-island energy security and meet critical energy needs on a national scale.

Wind generation in Tasmania
Our early studies also show Tasmania has superior wind power conditions, as well as timing advantages.

We already have world-class wind farms, and many more prospective sites. We can generate wind power at different times to other states, which is critical for smoothing out supply.

Wind farm investment in Tasmania also looks far more attractive when coupled with pumped storage capacity, because of its ability to support and complement the variable output of wind.

Our studies will continue to model and analyse further energy scenarios, to determine the best way to deliver reliable and renewable energy at the lowest possible price for Tasmania.

Future state
© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2018