What is the Finkel Review?
What we now know as the “Finkel Review” first emerged in October last year.
The independent review led by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, was established by the COAG Energy Council (Australia’s federal and state energy ministers) following South Australia’s state-wide blackout in September 2016 – responding to energy security concerns.
Finkel (together with a panel of reviewers) is tasked with developing a “blueprint” for the national electricity market (NEM).
What is the NEM, and why do we need to change it?
The NEM is the electricity grid which links and supplies power to Australia’s eastern states and territories – QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and TAS.
The NEM is expected to undergo a massive transition this decade, not only as a result of transitioning from fossil-fuelled electricity generation to renewables, but also:
- the rise of storage technology such as batteries
- consumer demand to modernise grid rules and infrastructure to create a fairer, smarter, more flexible grid
- the security of infrastructure in the face of increasingly extreme weather due to climate change
- coal closures
- increasing gas prices and supply shortages
How can you get involved?
The Finkel Review released its Interim Report on 9 December, which canvasses the issues facing Australia’s electricity network. Now the review is calling for public input, with the final report expected later this year.
Consultation is now underway with the public meetings scheduled across NEM states (see below).
We encourage you to register and attend these events in your closest city, and make your voice heard on Australia’s energy future.
If you can’t make it to one of the public meetings, the Finkel Review is also calling for public submissions by 21 February to be emailed to NEMSecurityReview@environment.gov.au (a cover sheet should be included).
You don’t have to be an electrical engineer or policy wonk to make a submission – this is a process which will shape our future electricity system, and as a result Australia’s future emissions – a system which affects every one of us. We encourage you to have your say.
You can read the Climate Council’s submission to the review here.
Adelaide 30 January (5-7pm)
Crowne Plaza Adelaide, 16 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide
Brisbane 2 February (5-7pm)
Sofitel Brisbane Central, 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane
Melbourne 8 February (5-7pm)
Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartments, 15 Therry Street, Melbourne
Hobart 13 February (5-7pm)
Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, 1 Davey Street, Hobart
Sydney 15 February (5-7pm)
Karstens Sydney, 111 Harrington Street, Sydney
Image credit: Alan Finkel by Flickr user World Intellectual Property Organisation licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0