AEMO released draft of 2024 Integrated System Plan … cue the media headlines

It’s Friday 15th December 2023 (the morning after an eventful evening in NSW) and the AEMO has published its draft release of the 2024 ISP (Integrated System Plan).


(A)  From the AEMO

There’s a few different pieces of information, as follows:

Draft ISP 2024
Main Document (87 pages)
Associated Documentation

You can download the main document as PDF from here:


More information is being published about the 2024 ISP in this part of the AEMO website:


In the Newsroom, the AEMO has published a Media Release this morning ‘Updated energy plan reiterates the need for urgent delivery’ which notes:

‘AEMO has taken a wide range of considerations into account in developing the Draft 2024 ISP. This includes government energy policies and net-zero commitments, costs of electricity infrastructure, future trends in electricity consumption, consumer and grid-scale generation and storage, transmission upgrade options, and power system reliability and security needs.

The future trends are based on the ‘step change’ scenario, assessed as the most likely scenario for planning activities by AEMO based on input from a range of industry experts, government and network service provider representatives, generators and retailers, researchers, academics, and consumer advocates.’

… and ends:

‘With the release of the Draft 2024 ISP, all stakeholders are invited to participate in the upcoming consultations, including public forums, and provide written submissions before 16 February 2024, after which AEMO will finalise the 2024 ISP by 28 June 2024.’


A1)  Most likely … or most hoped for?

What particularly jumped out to me in the Media Release was the note:

‘To deliver this lowest cost pathway for secure and reliable energy, this plan calls for investment that would:

(a)  <SNIP>

(b)  <SNIP>

(c)  Add almost four times the firming capacity from dispatchable storage, hydro and gas-powered generation by 2050 (74 GW).

(d)  <SNIP>’

… in the light of how we wrote, on 14th May 2023, that ‘We’re not building enough replacement dispatchable capacity’ … and that was just looking at replacing the same size of firming capacity that’s already been closed (not taking into account the need for anything like 74GW)!

I do wonder if the scenario that people are voting for as ‘most likely’ is actually ‘most hoped for’, as:

(a)  there are certainly big challenges to overcome (such as noted in the headlines below); and

(b)  recent performance makes me quite nervous.

A2)  Christmas Reading…

Either way, a necessary addition to everyone’s Xmas reading list.


(B)  Media Headlines

A quick scan of the main media outlets reveals a number of articles:

1)  In the AFR there have been a couple articles now:

(a)  Not really a surprise that the front page of the AFR grabbed my attention early this morning – given Angela MacDonald-Smith wrote  ‘Coal power to be gone in 15 years’ quoting the AEMO’s scenario modelling:


(b)  Friday evening (18:03) Angela MacDonald-Smith followed up with  ‘‘Too much risk’: Call for strategic coal power reserves’ quoting EnergyAustralia’s Mark Collette following the AEMO’s draft 2024 ISP.

2)  In the Australian there have been a couple articles now:

(a)  Also promoting the headline message was Nick Evans and Sarah Ison on Friday morning with ‘Energy grid on the line in coal exit, says AEMO’ :


(b)  Late Friday (16:55) Nick Evans followed with ‘AEMO warns more transmission lines needed to support green energy exports’ :

3)  In the Guardian:

(a)  Friday morning I saw that Peter Hannam wrote ‘Aemo warns coal-fired power plants could drop off before replacements are ready’ on Friday morning.


(b)  Anything else?

4)  Via RenewEconomy:

(a)  Giles Parkinson was up early Friday with ‘AEMO’s jaw dropping prediction for coal power – all but gone from the grid in a decade’


(b)  There’s also ‘Households to take centre stage on grid with solar, EVs, heat pumps and electric cooktops’.

(c)  There’s also ‘State energy ministers give themselves power to force coal generators to stay open’.

(d)  Finally this morning I’d seen there was also ‘Australia could be at 99 pct renewables by 2032, if green exports take off as hoped’.

(e)  Later in the day I saw David Leitch had written ‘The capacity investment scheme and 2024 ISP: Coal and gas get a hammering’.


5)  In the SMH/Age:

(a)  On Friday morning was Mike Foley with ‘Heat on electricity grid as coal exits faster than forecast’ .

6)  On ABC:

(a)  Even later in the day on Friday I’d not seen anything in ABC print media … but Tristan’s note on social media did point to this chat on RN:


7)  In PV Magazine:

(a)  A little later in the day I saw that David Carroll had written ‘AEMO calls for urgent action in updated energy plan’ for PV Magazine Australia:



… no doubt there are more that I’ve not come across, yet.



(C)  On social media

Where we notice anything particularly interesting on social media (and have the time) we’ll add references in here…

1)  Fast off the mark, Dylan McConnell at UNSW’s CEEM has written ‘Coal will be all but gone by 2034 under Australia’s latest energy roadmap’ in the Conversation:


2)  Jumped out at me that the release of the 2024 ISP (and RenewEconomy’s coverage of it) had come to the attention of Jesse Jenkins at Princeton in the States :


3)  More to come …

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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