The briefing provides an overview of various aspects of the Australian electricity system, in particular the National Electricity Market (NEM) in the east and south of the continent. The NEM operates one of the longest interconnected electricity grids in the world, covering a sparsely populated distance of 5,000 km with some major consumption centres. Isolated grids also exist in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
In addition to information about the physical transmission and distribution network, the briefing includes details on market design, market concentration, the electricity generation mix overall and at state and territory level as well as developments around the ageing coal-fired generation fleet. It also looks at the role of large-scale electricity batteries and distributed energy resources (DER). Electricity prices, the June 2022 energy crisis and the governance and future of the electricity system are also discussed. The study was prepared as part of the BMWK's energy cooperation project and is intended to facilitate dialogue in the field of the electricity system. Understanding the different framework conditions and the divergent market design is crucial for constructive discussions between stakeholders in both countries.