AEMO releases 2023 ESOO on Thursday 31st August 2023 (Australia’s NEM is perched on the edge)

It’s Thursday 31st August 2023, and the AEMO released its much-awaited Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) for 2023.   This follows on from earlier issues:

(1)  Annual updates, in the years before, and then …

(2)  In 2021, the AEMO released the ESOO 2021 (on 31st August 2021) and also the ESOO 2021 Update (on 14th April 2022, in response to several significant developments after that time).

(3)  In 2022, the AEMO released the ESOO 2022 (on 31st August 2022) and also the ESOO 2022 Update (on 21st February 2023).

Readers here can access the report, and accompanying materials, as follows:

The Report Other Materials

You can download the 175-page PDF of the report here:


Earlier copies of the ESOO are also available on this page on the AEMO website.

The AEMO is also hosting a webinar about the ESOO on Thursday 7th Sept 2023) with registration details here.


With respect to this release of the ESOO, readers might like to note the following:


(A)  What AEMO notes about the report

In this Media Release titled ‘Urgent and ongoing investment needed to maintain energy reliability’, the AEMO notes:

‘AEMO CEO Daniel Westerman said: “This year’s report highlights the pace of Australia’s energy transition and the urgency needed to deliver new investment to ensure reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for consumers.

“Over the 10-year outlook, we continue to forecast reliability gaps, which are mostly due to the expectation that 62 per cent of today’s coal fleet will retire by 2033.’

In the Executive Summary, AEMO writes:

‘With up to 62% of its coal fleet now expected to close before 2033, Australia’s NEM is perched on the edge of one of the largest transformations since the market was formed over 20 years ago.’


Promises to be a very well attended webinar on Thursday next week, 7th September 2023.


(B)  News Media commentary about the ESOO 2023

So far today I have come across commentary in a range of places, including the following:

1)  Here on WattClarity®:

(a)  There’s this note, obviously

(b)  Coming later today will be an article … ‘Here’s N things that quickly jumped out at me in the 2023 ESOO’.

2)  In the AFR I have seen…

(a)  Front Page of the AFR, Angela MacDonald-Smith and Mark Ludlow write ‘Blackout warnings sharpen as El Nino summer looms’ … the online title is slightly different:


(b)  On page 6, Angela MacDonald-Smith continues, writing an Opinion Piece ‘Grid operator delivers a reality check on the energy transition’ which starts with the following two paragraphs:

‘It’s taken a while, but the Australian Energy Market Operator has come clean on just how serious a state our transition to low-carbon energy is in.

In what is a remarkably worse assessment than just six months ago, the grid operator has confirmed some of the worries that have been weighing on the minds of many energy producers and users for months – if not years.’

(c)  On p7, Mark Ludlow writes  ‘Extending life of Eraring coal plant would help avoid blackouts: AEMO’ .

(d)  On p7,  Ben Potter writes ‘Five reasons blackouts are more likely this summer’.

(e)  On p7, Jason Greber wrote The boom in EVs could add 20pc to household energy demand by 2033′.

(f)  On p7 (though published 14:09 yesterday), Ben Potter and Angela Macdonald-Smith wrote about ‘Snowy 2.0 still ‘vital’ despite $12b blowout, says Bowen’.

(g)  At 05:00 today (not in the print copy?) Ben Potter wrote about ‘Slash grid delays to get the energy transition back on track’.

… and it is likely others will follow in the hours and days ahead.

3)  In the Australian I have seen …

(a)  At 12:01 Colin Packham wrote (and since update) that ‘Australia on course for a decade of energy instability without urgent action, operator warns’

(b)  … but it’s also worth noting that the bit that’s under the live politics stream jumps out:


(c)  At 12:01, Colin Packham also wrote that ‘NSW faces generation shortfall when Eraring retires as pressure on government grows’ .

(d)  The Editorial notes that ‘AEMO report spotlights failings’ .

(e)  Alex Coram wrote some commentary with ‘The government is gambling our energy future on a flawed plan’ .

(f)  And likely more to come (or which I have not seen)

4)  In the Guardian I have seen …

(a)  At 06:18, Peter Hannam wrote ‘Hot El Niño summer brings ‘elevated’ risk of power blackouts to eastern Australia, operator warns’.

(b)  And likely more to come (or which I have not seen).

5)  In SMH and the Age I have seen …

(a)  At 12:01, Mike Foley wrote ‘Grid on knife edge as project delays risk blackouts, electricity market operator warns’

(b)  At 06:00, Alexandra Smith wrote ‘Power play: Minns warns giant overhead cables only way to deliver renewable energy future’ (not directly speaking about the ESOO, but quite related)

(c)  And may have been more I did not see….

6)  In RenewEconomy I have seen …

(a)  First article today, Giles Parkinson wrote ‘AEMO says coal exits won’t trigger shortfalls if big batteries built on time’.

(b)  Then Giles Parkinson wrote ‘Ageing coal and gas generators getting less reliable, says AEMO’.

(c)  Nothing further, at this point.

7)  In PV Magazine I have seen …

(a) Nothing at this point.

8)  In the ABC I have seen …

(a)  Tom Lowrey wrote ’National energy grid facing summer pressures as market operator calls for “urgent investment” in generation’

(b)  A little later in the day, someone pointed out this ‘VIDEO: New report forecasts Australia’s east to experience outages this summer’  report to me:

(features David Leitch)

(c)  Have not seen anything else, at this point.

9)  On Sky News, we have seen…

(a)  Max Melzer wrote ‘Energy regulator AEMO warns of summer blackouts across Victoria, South Australia as delays to new power sources hit supply’ at 07:30.


As a reader here, if you come across any other useful commentary, feel free to add as a comment below.



(C)  Social Media commentary about the ESOO 2023

As time permits, we might add in references to the ESOO (we see) in various social media feeds:

1)  Firstly, from us:

(a)  Following this article we noted this on this Twitter Update and in this LinkedIn Update;

(b)  With more to come…

2)  Thursday morning AEMO CEO Daniel Westerman posted this update on LinkedIn:


3)  Christiaan Zuur posted (from the CEC) posted this update on LinkedIn:


4)  More from others, as time permits…




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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.