Integrated System Plan Fact Sheet

A roadmap to Australia’s energy transition

Australia’s energy system is undergoing a rapid transition. Coal-fired generators are closing, and urgent investment in generation, storage, flexible gas generation, and transmission is needed to make sure our homes and businesses continue to enjoy reliable and affordable electricity.

The ISP outlines what Australia needs to build to keep the lights on as coal-fired generation retires.

What the ISP does

The ISP guides investment

The ISP shows where new transmission, generation and storage is needed across the National Electricity Market (NEM).

It outlines the investments needed to make sure Australians have access to reliable, secure and affordable electricity – while meeting Australia’s emissions reduction targets.

It assesses the options available to industry, and identifies the best path forward, at the lowest cost to electricity customers.

What the ISP considers

The ISP is based on economic modelling and engineering analysis.

The ISP takes into account the costs of:

  • New generation, including building and operating costs.
  • Fuel prices, including forecasts of gas and coal prices.
  • Different types and duration of storage - including batteries and pumped hydro storage.
  • New flexible gas generation.
  • New transmission.

The ISP forecasts the generation mix

The ISP projects the best mix of generation and storage to meet policy targets.

This includes renewable energy such as solar and wind generation as well as storage technologies like batteries, pumped hydro, and flexible gas-powered generation.

The ISP is developed with industry

The ISP is developed every two years in consultation with industry, government and energy consumers.

For the Draft 2024 ISP, this has involved more than 1,300 stakeholders, 60 presentations, 117 written and verbal submissions, and continuous dialogue on every aspect of the ISP.

The ISP includes inputs from:

  • Energy experts from academia, market bodies and industry.
  • The ISP Consumer Panel - a group set up under the National Electricity Rules to provide independent expert advice.
  • Technical papers from across the industry.

The ISP factors consumer resources

Consumer energy resources are appliances owned by homes or businesses, such as rooftop solar, home batteries and electric vehicles.

These appliances are a critical part of the power system, and the ISP takes these into account in working out what is needed to ensure reliability.

A key input to the ISP is the expected growth in the number in these appliances.

While the role of these household appliances is considered, the costs are not modelled in the ISP as these are purchases decided by households and businesses.

The ISP does not include distribution costs

The ISP does not plan the distribution network, that is, the poles and wires that connect individual households and businesses to the grid.

The ISP is primarily focused on investment in large utility-scale generation, storage and transmission.

Distribution system planning, including costs, happens at a state and local level – not in the ISP.

The ISP uses GenCost data

The GenCost report is developed each year between CSIRO and AEMO. It looks at how much it costs to build and run different types of generation. GenCost is an important input into the ISP.

What GenCost says about nuclear generation

The cost of nuclear generation is modelled in the GenCost report.

GenCost finds nuclear generation to be a lot more expensive than other options. In fact, it is one of the most expensive ways to generate electricity according to GenCost.

Also, the time it would take to design and build nuclear generation, would be too slow to replace retiring coal fired generation.

Nuclear generation is currently banned under Australian law.

The ISP includes cost and benefits for consumers

The plan includes an estimate of what it will cost to build the new generation, storage, and transmission needed to maintain a reliable supply of electricity as coal generation retires. By building the transmission projects in the plan, we avoid $17 billion of extra costs to Australian homes and businesses.

The ISP is a plan for the future

The ISP is a plan for future investment.

It does not model the cost or benefits of infrastructure that was built in the past, is already under construction, or has already been approved. Because the cost of these projects is committed, it is taken as a “given”.

The ISP looks at the lowest cost way to move forward.

The ISP is ambitious, but deliverable

The plan outlines the lowest-cost way to generate, store and transmit electricity for Australian homes and businesses. It is a comprehensive plan that calls for urgent investment in generation, storage and transmission as ageing coal-fired power stations retire.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.