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Overview of Australian National Electricity Market by Methsiri Aratchige
 
     
Overview of Australian National Electricity Market by Methsiri Aratchige  

Prior to 1995, the Australian electricity industry structure was very similar to what we have in Sri Lanka now. Following an extensive review on national competition policy, Australian governments decided to restructure the electricity industry with the view of increasing competition, productivity gains and efficiency.

 

Initially state based regional electricity markets were established and later the National Electricity Market (“NEM”) was created in December 1998.

 

The NEM spans Australia’s eastern and south-eastern coasts and comprises five interconnected states that also act as price regions: Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania. Western Australia and the Northern Territory are not connected to the NEM, primarily due to the very long distance between networks.

 

The NEM operates on one of the world’s longest interconnected power systems, stretching from Port Douglas in Queensland to Port Lincoln in South Australia and across the Bass Strait to Tasmania – a distance of around 5,000 kilometres. Tasmania is connected to the Mainland system by a ~290km long undersea cable called “Basslink”. This is the second largest undersea cable in the world.

 

The NEM has been operating for almost 18 years; delivering benefit to consumers through increased competition, efficiency and supply reliability.

 

National Electricity Market at a glance
NEM Regions Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania
Installed Capacity 47,641 MW
Number of registered generators 336
Number of customers 9.8 million
NEM turnover 2014-15 $8.2 billion
Total energy generated 2014-15 194,000 GWh
National maximum winter demand 2014-15 30,201 MW
National maximum summer demand 2014-15 29,472 MW
 
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