The State Government will undertake a fast-tracked assessment of new and existing demand for renewable energy for the State’s main electricity network in a move welcomed by CCIWA.
This process will help the State Government understand future demand for low-emissions electricity supply on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) as a growing number of industries and businesses seek to decarbonise through electrification.
An interim assessment will be undertaken ahead of the next Whole of System Plan, which is required by 2025.
The Government said the SWIS Demand Assessment will gather information from industry about the size, location and timeframe of anticipated electricity demand to 2030 and beyond.
The Treasury-led taskforce membership will include the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Energy Policy WA, the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, and Western Power.
The information collected will also be used to inform the electricity Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies through a coordinated stakeholder engagement process.
The SWIS starts north in Kalbarri, runs through Perth down to Albany in the south and extends to Kalgoorlie in the east.
“This assessment of renewable energy demand will be an essential tool in achieving a smooth and orderly transition towards net zero by 2050,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“As the world decarbonises, it’s important we give local businesses the certainty and stability they need in order to support WA jobs.
“It’s important we act now to achieve an orderly transition in our electricity network to avoid the kind of situations seen elsewhere in the nation.”
Energy Minister Bill Johnston added: “Western Power’s network will be the backbone that supports decarbonisation in the south-west of Western Australia, helping connect industry to renewable energy sources.
“Industry has told us they need to decarbonise quickly and I’m pleased to explore how the network could support their ambition through the expedited SWIS Demand Assessment.”
CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey said the rapid assessment was a necessary step to provide businesses with more confidence to plan, adapt and enact their net zero transition.
“To meet our emissions reduction ambitions, WA businesses must have an electricity grid that can supply the volume of energy they need from renewable sources,” he said.
“In CCIWA’s extensive climate policy consultations, this was often cited as essential to the climate goals of many WA businesses, including to meet their internal 2030 targets.”
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