Next public research seminars

Location and time: Thursday 15th November, 12:00 in the TETB LG07.

SPEAKERS: Tim Nelson (AGL Energy Ltd)

TITLE: Decarbonisation and wholesale electricity market design

In recent decades, many power systems have introduced electricity generator competition. Market designs have varied with some countries adopting ‘energy-only’ markets and others utilising capacity remuneration mechanisms. With increasing deployment of cost competitive renewable energy and the introduction of policy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, concerns are emerging about the sustainability of these market designs. In Australia, wholesale electricity prices have increased markedly – the result of a ‘disorderly’ transition away from coal to new renewable energy. This seminar will present a recent study taht critically examines the ‘energy-only’ market in a high-penetration renewables system, with a particular focus on the vertically and horizontally restructured National Electricity Market (NEM). This study suggests that the ‘energy-only’ market can indeed work within a decarbonised energy system. But as renewables increasingly replace coal-fired power stations, ‘unintended consequences’ will need to be addressed to facilitate an ‘orderly’ transition. It will be important that policy ensures appropriate new investment in firm capacity is forthcoming; and pricing outcomes are acceptable given political economy constraints.

A. Professor Tim Nelson  is the Chief Economist at AGL Energy Ltd, where he leads the company's public policy advocacy and sustainability strategy. In recent years, Tim has led the development of AGL's Affordability Initiative, revised Greenhouse Gas Policy and Strategy and the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) concept. He is a Director of PARF and a member of the Westpac Stakeholder Advisory Council and the Grattan Institute Energy Reference Group.
Tim is an Associate Professor at Griffith University and is widely published in Australian and international peer-reviewed journals. Tim holds a PhD in economics for which he earned a Chancellors Doctoral Research Medal and a first class honours degree in economics. Tim is also a qualified Chartered Secretary (AGIA and ICSA) and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.