The Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP) released by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) confirms that a renewables future is unequivocally the least regret and lowest cost option, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said the draft ISP provides a dynamic and actionable road map that can guide the transition through a period of complexity and uncertainty.

“The ISP points to a highly diverse future energy system where over 30GW of new utility-scale renewable generation is needed, and distributed energy generation is expected to double or even triple to provide 13-22% of the total annual National Electricity Market consumption,” Thornton said.

“The ISP rightly identifies that to unlock this exciting new energy potential, significant investment in the transmission network is needed.

“We strongly support AEMO’s development path for extensive upgrades to the transmission grid to deliver the infrastructure needed to make the most of our vast clean energy resources, ensure the future stability and security of Australia’s energy system and deliver low-cost energy to consumers.”

A clear road map for transmission development is imperative in order to build investor confidence for new clean energy generation that is urgently needed before coal power plants retire, Thornton said.

“There is a huge amount of detail to be worked through in the draft ISP. We look forward to working closely with AEMO on this and providing further input to ensure the 2020 ISP delivers the robust strategy needed to guide the future of Australia’s energy system.”

The Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan is available on the AEMO website.