This 2017 Electricity Forecasting Insights provides independent electricity consumption, maximum demand, and minimum demand forecasts1 for each National Electricity Market (NEM) region over a 20-year forecast period (2017–18 to 2036–37).
· Consumption met by grid-supplied electricity is forecast to remain flat for the next 20 years, despite projected 30% growth in population and assumed average growth in the Australian economy.
· Business demand is forecast to increase slightly, while net residential demand is projected to decline as growth in population and appliance usage is offset by increased generation from rooftop photovoltaic (PV) and by energy efficiency initiatives.
· Under a stronger economic growth forecast, consumption is projected to be 15% higher by 2036–37 than in the Neutral scenario, while weaker economic growth could result in forecast consumption 21% lower than the Neutral scenario at that time.
· Maximum demand is forecast to remain flat until the mid-2020s, and then start to increase as the time of maximum demand moves later in the day when rooftop PV output is small or zero.
Implications for business and household consumers:
· Energy consumers are expected to become more active in controlling their energy use, by improving energy efficiency and generating their own energy ‘behind the meter’. The recent spike in rooftop PV installations, and reported actions by large consumers, provide some evidence that many businesses and households are already acting, and this trend is forecast to continue, supported by projected falling costs for PV systems, battery storage, and energy-efficient appliances.
Implications for the energy sector:
· For the energy sector, there are opportunities to assist consumers through more targeted products and services, in particular in relation to managing energy use.
· Forecast growth in maximum demand in the medium to longer term may require investments in generation, network, or demand-side solutions to ensure reliability and security of supply.
· The wide uncertainty across the different scenarios poses challenges for investments.
· The energy system is going through a significant transition in how and when consumers use and are supplied energy. There is an important opportunity for new market and regulatory arrangements, improved system planning, and new market, network, and non-network solutions, to support an orderly transition and deliver consumers secure, reliable, and affordable energy to meet their demand.