AGL Managing Director and CEO, Andy Vesey has revealed three, key opportunities in the Australian energy sector.

Mr Vesey’s comments follow the United Nations conference on climate change, COP21, held in Paris in 2015.

The climate policy that was discussed at the conference is expected to impact the future direction of the energy industry.

The first key opportunity according to Mr Vesey is conventional investment in the National Electricity Market’s transmission grid.

Mr Vesey said the AGL Greenhouse Gas Policy has put end dates on conventional coal plants, with the first closing in 2022 and the last in 2048, and in that there are opportunities for investment in new technology.

“Coming out of Paris, our commitments on carbon dioxide for Australia are not just about reducing emissions, they’re about modernisation of its infrastructure.

“Up to 75 per cent of coal generation in the national energy market is beyond its original design life.This is a real issue, and the opportunities we see are in conventional investments at the grid level to complement what we see as thousands of megawatts of new renewables that need to come online.”

Mr Vesey said these types of investments include initiatives such as high speed gas turbines and advanced batteries at the grid levels, which allow these intermittent sources to operate and deliver the reliability and security that Australians need.

Mr Vesey said the second key opportunity in the industry relates to investment in large scale renewables.

“What’s important here is that we make room for these, we’re oversupplied by about 7000megawatts of electricity  so we have to make room for these new cleaner investments, not only to reduce the carbon dioxide impact but again to modernise.

“The most important part is to get that supply and demand balance into place and we think there are a number of policy mechanisms that can do that.”

The most anticipated opportunity in the sector, according to Mr Vesery, relates to distributed energy giving customers choice in their energy consumption.

“Getting consumers to exercise their choice in options and services as well as participating in the energy markets [is something really exciting for us]. Here we’re talking about distributed energy resources, small scale batteries, rooftop solar’s, controls that will allow them to participate not only in their own consumption but production-use of electricity.

“As we move forward into this very exciting future -this carbon constrained future, [the opportunities lie] not only in the modernisation of the system, but [in] bringing real customer choice in energy consumption and good decisions where consumers can not only get a better value but can be participants in their own energy future,” Mr Vesey said.  

Watch the video here.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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