Federal Power Board Needed Despite Loggerheads

A new over-arching energy board to help monitor security issues in the National Energy Market has federal and state ministers divided.

This board, which was one of the key recommendations from the Finkel review, was discussed today at the annual Council of Australian Government energy council meeting in Brisbane.

Post graduate Researcher at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute James Eggleston said the energy market needs this new board to help the market become more innovative and agile.

“We need a market that’s more agile and I guess, more nimble to react to these new technologies,” he said.

“It is a reasonable question to ask, when we have a system that’s not delivering positive outcomes, is adding an additional layer of bureaucracy to that system the right answer.

“In my view, I would agree with Finkel.”

While Western Australia is not directly affected by the review, as it only relates to the states on the National Energy Market, it does affect Australia on a Federal level.

Currently there are three major decision-making bodies, which are the Australian Energy Regulators, the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator.

They have previously been criticised for being slow when new innovative technologies are released.

Mr Eggleston said the next step is to see if the national Energy Market implement the findings from the Finkel review.

“There is a time-frame on when governments can implement these changes,” he said.

“Basically, we have an energy market that has a few issues at the moment and basically those issues have to be addressed urgently.

“So, now that we’ve had this review and the findings released, government needs to get on with the job and implement the findings.”

This new board would have an independent chair and deputy chair, appointed by the COAG energy council, with AER, AEMC and AEMO as members.

It would be tasked with ensuring the reforms in the report are met, along with monitoring security, reliability and planning of all three market bodies.

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