The 2023 ESOO again prompts the question … ‘what’s the contingency plan’?

This was originally posted directly into the article ‘Here’s 7 Observations that jumped out to me in a first skim of the 2023 ESOO’, but have now lifted it out so it can be separately addressable…



My paraphrasing of the situation presented in the 2023 ESOO, and typified by the two charts above is that:

1)  Based on current trajectory, we’re in for a world of pain ahead;

2)  But this might be alleviated if (donning rose-coloured glasses) the trajectory somehow changes and developments proceed swimmingly.

… hence the increasingly strident calls from people like Daniel Westerman today (but really these are the same as what he’s been making for months (such as in June 2023 at Australian Energy Week), and one might wonder if anything has really changed?

I’ve been wondering for many months ‘what’s the contingency plan’ (including discussion in Key Observation #6 within GenInsights Quarterly Updates for 2022 Q2 … published a year ago).  So  it’s great to see that (in section 7 of the 2023 ESOO) the AEMO has included a number of sensitivities about what might be done to improve the reliability outlook (some flagged in Figure 2 above):


I understand how the idea about considering to keep coal open a little longer (if required as a contingency plan) is untenable for some …. but to me it would seem negligent of bodies such as the NSW Government (with respect to current considerations about Eraring, for instance) to not explore the option in some detail.

That ‘keep coal open a bit longer’ contingency plan has been something several journalists have picked up on in early articles.

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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