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Australian states facing increased risk of summer blackouts

Canberra, Aug 31 (IANS) States in southeast Australia are facing an elevated risk of summer blackouts without urgent investment, the energy market operator warned on Thursday.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its latest 10-year market forecast, calling for “urgent and ongoing investment” to bolster the reliability of the electricity grid, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to AEMO projections, much of the national electricity market (NEM) is facing significant reliability problems over the next decade, starting in the upcoming summer in the southern states of South Australia (SA) and Victoria.

Approximately 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of new generation and storage has been added to the NEM since 2022 but AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman said forecast hotter conditions are expected to cause a spike in electricity use.

“We’re expecting an elevated level of risk compared to recent years, mostly due to hotter and drier conditions, and coal-fired generation reliability is at historic lows,” he said in a statement.

“The entire industry is focused on managing the risks in the summer ahead, particularly during high-demand periods coupled with generation outages and low renewable output, but some risk will remain.”

The report said 62 per cent of the NEM’s coal-fired power generators are currently slated to shut down by 2033, creating a shortfall in the grid that must be replaced.

It said electricity consumption is expected to grow over the next 10 years due to population growth, economic activity and the electrification of Australia’s economy as the country pursues a 2050 net zero emissions target.

“To ensure Australian consumers continue to have access to reliable electricity supplies, it’s critical that planned investments in transmission, generation and storage projects are urgently delivered,” Westerman said.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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