Tasmania’s link to the National Electricity Market (NEM) is subjecting the state to increasing uncertainty when it comes to electricity prices including large and sudden price shifts. The state should take back control and become a self-reliant exporter of clean energy.
Tasmania should become less reliant on the NEM by reducing or eliminating the need to import electricity through the Basslink Interconnector, by increasing its generating capacity and instead become a net exporter into the NEM.
If Tasmania uses its natural advantage in renewable energy this will lower prices, increase security and hasten Australia’s transition away from fossil fuels. Tasmania is perfectly placed to lead this transition because it has large hydroelectric ‘baseload’ power which pairs perfectly with intermittent solar and wind.
This paper proposes that Tasmania sets itself the goal of becoming self-sufficient in electricity generation. Tasmania can then simply use the interconnector to sell surplus generation of clean energy back to the mainland states. To do this Tasmania needs to construct additional generation assets including wind and solar.
Tasmania can become self-sufficient and also drive down prices for Tasmanian homes and businesses through these measures:
- Divert $100 million of forgone revenue and expenditure from the Government to fast track investment in extra generation
- Increase Tasmania’s wind generation to around 12 per cent of current capacity
- Install solar PV and hot water on all appropriate public housing, reducing total electricity demand in the state by about 0.6% and improving social equity
- Install solar PV and hot water on all appropriate private housing, reducing total electricity demand by about 15%. This would free up 1,573 GW h of electricity and gas for sale elsewhere and lower bills.