The AEMC has identified regulatory implications of integrating storage into the electricity sector.

In their final report on regulatory issues, the AEMC identified barriers to the installation, connection and operation of storage technologies by consumers and businesses and proposed ways to correct them.

In October 2015 the AEMC sought stakeholder views on the ability of the existing regulatory framework to support the integration of storage technologies across the electricity sector.

The report analysis is founded on the principle that consumer choices should drive energy market development.

The recommendations made in the report are designed to clarify how regulated network businesses can use storage to meet network needs and remove barriers to parties using storage capability to participate in the National Electricity Market, for example by selling electricity into the wholesale market or providing ancillary services.

The AEMC’s first recommendation was that services provided by DNSPs behind the meter be treated as contestable services that should therefore be unclassified.

The AEMC also recommends that the incentives on network businesses to substitute opex for capex would benefit from review and that the AER is the appropriate body to do this.  

The report also proposes the ACMC review the lead times in the planning process to test whether they are appropriate in the face of changing technologies and more distributed energy resources.  

These recommendations should simplify and streamline the process for the connection of storage capability to the electricity network, both behind the meter and on the grid itself.

The AEMC will work collaboratively with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) as well as other stakeholders to further progress the recommendations.

The project is part of the Commission’s technology-focused work program to understand how technological change may affect the National Electricity Market and develop regulatory arrangements that continue to support flexible and resilient markets. 

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