Australian Energy Week (AEW) is one of the most comprehensive energy events in Australia. It is the annual meeting place for energy stakeholders - from CEOs to analysts, energy traders to engineers.

Held throughout this week at Melbourne Convention Centre, the AEW agenda takes in the full breadth of policy and regulatory changes, competitive and technological disruption, as well as movements in consumer trends within the energy industry. It tackles the challenges and opportunities facing the present sector and its stakeholders, and also maps out what the future energy market will comprise of.

Audrey Zibelman, Managing Director and CEO of AEMO, gave a keynote address to the AEW audience this morning on the ongoing challenges facing the energy sector (both here and overseas) and how close industry collaboration will help to shape a better energy future for all Australians. Her address highlighted how AEMO’s strategy underpins what is required to deliver a successful energy transition.

Internationally, disruption is going to continue to be the norm as the digitalisation of the industry continues at pace, and renewable energy becomes more and more prominent. In addition to these seismic changes, Australia has the added complication of what is referred to as the 3 Cs:

  • Sector coupling: the challenges integrating energy consuming sectors e.g. buildings (heating and cooling) and transport with the power producing sector
  • Cybersecurity: mitigating the risk to industry from the ongoing threat of cyber attacks
  • Climate: addressing the immediate climate issues whilst supporting the industry in meeting its decarbonisation targets

Australia is seeing transformative changes in capacity, the size of the energy network, the proliferation of individual sources of generation, an increase in granularity, and the sheer amount of data.

To meet these challenges, there needs to be a comprehensive plan, but a measured one. Ms Zibelman talked to the AEW audience about adopting a Goldilocks approach to the transition – a deliberate approach that isn’t too hasty but, conversely, isn’t too slow to act either. The plan has to be one that stabilises the near term but lays the necessary groundwork to enable a productive and successful future for industry.

Ms Zibelman laid out AEMO’s approach for the next three years which will emphasise proactive change through six strategic pillars that deliver benefits for consumers, system participants and stakeholders:

  1. Ensure reliable and secure system operations 
  2. Design and implement systems for the future of energy
  3. Promote and pursue adaptive markets and regulation
  4. Insist on consumer empowerment
  5. Deploy digital and data solutions
  6. Look for and promote talent

AEMO will continue to collaborate, consult and plan with industry stakeholders as we proactively manage the evolving energy sector here in Australia.

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