The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has unveiled an interactive website and online portal designed to help energy businesses understand regulation within the National Electricity Market (NEM), navigate energy sector stakeholders, and explore options to launch new energy business models under existing frameworks.
The AER said the Energy Innovation Toolkit provides information on the NEM regulatory regime to energy innovators and aims to reduce barriers for new energy business models. It will be supported by an enquiry service that will enable innovators to contact the regulator with specific queries.
The AER said the enquiry service will be a first stop for businesses seeking both informal regulatory guidance and a pathway to regulatory relief.
Businesses will be able to access the service to gain an understanding of what regulations and market entry requirements might apply to a specific project. They will also be able to explore options to adapt business ideas to progress under current frameworks and identify what agencies to contact and what processes and applications they might need to undertake to progress a project.
The AER said the toolkit is supported by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Essential Services Commission of Victoria (ESC), and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
“We draw on the combined expertise of the AER, AEMC, AEMO, ESC, state regulators and other government agencies, and can make targeted referrals to any of these bodies if we identify that your question is best placed with them,” the regulator said.
AER chair Clare Savage said the new website will support Australia’s transition to a renewable energy generation and storage model, the success of which will be influenced by how quickly new technology and innovation can enter the market.
“The regulatory landscape may be overwhelming for new energy businesses wanting to enter the market and we don’t want that to be a barrier to achieving better outcomes for consumers,” she said. “The Energy Innovation Toolkit is a one-stop shop for energy businesses and start-ups to access multiple regulatory bodies. It opens up a pathway for discussion to drive innovation and market competition and offers a range of resources to help businesses test ideas.”
The AER said new energy laws expected to be introduced later in the year will help broaden the online service to allow the granting of temporary waivers and trials.aer,
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