Tag team releases today– ESB’s ‘Health of the NEM’ and AER’s ‘State of the Energy Market’

As someone else just commented to me … it’s a big news week in the NEM, and it’s only Thursday.

1)   Tuesday was the Victorian Government’s storage strategy;

2)  Wednesday we had (amongst other things) the QLD Government’s launch of their Energy Policy;

3)  Today we have had:

(a)  News about accelerated closure of Loy Yang A this morning,

(b)  More developments about the doubling of the Administered Price Cap from $300/MWh to $600/MWh following Alinta’s rule change request (and also the Reliability Panel’s recent report).

(c)  In addition to these, we’ve also seen these two reports being released:

… and it’s only morning!

From the Energy Security Board (ESB) … From the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) …



The ESB has released their its (32-page) annual update called ‘The Health of the National Electricity Market’.


‘The Energy Security Board (ESB) has released the annual Health of the National Electricity Market (NEM) report. The ESB is required to report annually on the Health of the NEM and progress against objectives set in the Strategic Energy Plan. The report outlines market performance against those objectives, greatest risk areas, and actions required and underway to address them.   

The 2022 report identifies key risks including consumer affordability and the interconnectedness of Australia’s electricity and gas markets, and reiterates the need for large-scale investment in new transmission, renewable generation and flexible capacity.

The report also identifies promoting resilience in market design to cope with changing circumstances and improving the visibility of, and confidence in, available energy supplies – particularly in times of market stress – as emerging priorities off the back of events earlier this year.  ’

… and also noted:

‘For the first time, the report is being released alongside the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) State of the Energy Market report which provides an impartial and comprehensive review of Australia’s east coast energy markets. The reports should be read together to present a full picture of the energy market as it is now, and the challenges ahead as the market transitions to achieve Australia’s climate goals’

The AER has released its (227-page) ‘State of the Energy Market 2022’ report.

In their Media Release here, the AER notes:

‘Wholesale prices were relatively low at the start of 2021, but a perfect storm of supply constraints, high international coal and gas prices, and increased demand caused costs to surge, resulting in record and persistent high prices and an unprecedented suspension of the entire wholesale electricity spot market in June 2022.

The report shows just how strongly the gas and electricity markets are interconnected, with gas-powered electricity generation playing a significant stop-gap role in recent months, at a time of high gas prices.’

… and goes on to note:

For the first time, this report has been published alongside the Energy Security Board’s annual report on the Health of the National Electricity Market, which presents an evaluation on how the NEM is performing against the objectives set by energy ministers in the Strategic Energy Plan.

These reports should be read together to present a full picture of the energy market as it is now, and the challenges ahead as the market transitions to achieve Australia’s climate goals.’

What follows might evolve (to the extent that time permits)


(A)  Media Coverage of the ESB and/or AER releases

Apart from this article, here is some of the coverage I have seen:

1)   here on WattClarity:

(a)  Nothing further, apart from this article (at least for now).

2)   via the ABC:

(a)  Anything?

3)  via RenewEconomy:

(a)  Anything?

4)  via AFR:

(a)  Mark Ludlow’s written ‘Higher prices a cost of energy transition’ .

(b)  Anything else?

5)  via the Australian

(a) Nick Evans has written ‘Regulators say households face extended power price pressure after winter’s ‘perfect storm’’.

6)  via the Guardian

(a)  Nothing on Thursday morning?

7)  via PV magazine

(a) Nothing on Thursday morning?

8)  via the Age/SMH

(a)  Anything?.


(B)  Industry Organisation comment

In addition to the media articles above, I’ve also seen the following from various industry organisations:

1)   The Australian Energy Council:

(a)  Anything?

2)   The Clean Energy Council:

(a)  Anything?

3)   The Smart Energy Council:

(a)  Anything?

4)  The Energy Users Association of Australia:

(a)  I’ve seen Andrew Richards make this comment via LinkedIn on Thursday morning.

(b)  Additionally, in a Media Release we’ve received via email, the EUAA writes ‘ESB & AER Reports Are Clear, The Transition Will Not Be Easy Or Cheap But Hard And Expensive…. which hits the nail on the head.  This goes on to say:

‘It is time to start having a more honest and open conversation about the transition of our energy system, says Energy Users’ Association of Australia (EUAA) upon the release of the latest reports from the Energy Security Board (ESB) and Australian Energy Regulator (AER) that clearly lays out the enormous challenges and costs that consumers are likely to face in the coming years as we decarbonise our energy system.

This comes on the same day as AGL announced the early closure of its Loy Yang A power station. A move that is likely to impact both final prices consumers pay for energy and potentially the reliability of the Victorian power system.

“The EUAA has been saying for some time that the transition of our energy system will not be free. Now our peak regulators are telling us that the transition is going to be both difficult and costly. These two reports add a healthy dose of reality into the discussion about the energy transition,” said EUAA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Andrew Richards.

… continues …

5)  Energy Networks Australia:

(a)  Tweeted this towards the end of the day:


(b)  which links to the statement ‘Stable regulation essential to deliver energy transition’ (does not resolve at the time I post this).



(C)  Other commentary we have seen

In addition to all of the above, our team have also come across a number of comments that might be of interest to readers here:

1)   Compliance Quarter have shared some comments here on their website.

2)   Others??

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

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