Much work to be done: our take on the Finkel Report
Wattwatchers commentary on the Finkel review report and our responses to selected recommendations.
It came with a grand title. 'Blueprint for the future: Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market'. It's also had the benefit of a strong, thoughtful review panel led by Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel (pictured left).
Initial reaction to what's meant to be a groundbreaking report for Australia's crisis-ridden energy sector has been mixed, however, and we think for good reason. Some of it is good, some so-so, some bad and some downright dirty (that's the political compromise bit that some think may throw a lifeline to coal-fired generation of electricity, even while verifying that renewables are the lower cost options for the future).
In our view, the first paragraphs of the Executive Summary nail it (but some of what follows later not so much), We could have written points including:
- 'Australia’s electricity system is in transition. There is no going back from the massive industrial, technological and economic changes facing our electricity system. No country is immune to the change.'
- 'If we don’t take immediate action, or even if we continue as we have been, Australia risks being left behind.'
- 'The transition presents significant opportunities to foster innovation. The deployment of new technologies and improved integration of variable renewable electricity generators needs to be supported by better data, early testing of technology, cyber threat awareness and workforce preparedness.'
- 'Consumers are at the heart of the transition. More attention should be paid to how we can best reward consumers for demand management and the power they generate through distributed energy resources like rooftop solar photovoltaic. When combined with improved energy efficiency, this will help reduce consumers’ electricity bills.
- 'The future grid will be more distributed, but its security and affordability will be strengthened through smarter grids, meter data information and clear data ownership rules to promote new ways of trading, including a demand response mechanism.'
We've highlighted and commented on some of the numerous recommendations that are most relevant to the digital era for energy.
6.3 By mid-2020, the COAG Energy Council should facilitate measures to remove complexities and improve consumers’ access to, and rights to share, their energy data.
Our take: Yes, we call it 'The People's Energy Data Bank'.