Australian news, and some related international items

Turnbull govt in for a shock, with new CEO of Australian Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman.

Turnbull, ScoMo and coal-lovers look out: Here comes Audrey Zibelman, Independent Australia, Norm Sanders 10 April 2017, Once they work out that Audrey Zibelman is pro-renewables, her appointment as AEMO’s new CEO is bound to upset the Coalition, writes Dr Norm Sanders.

WHO IS Audrey Zibelman?

On 17 March 2017, she became the new CEO of AEMO, that’s who! And what is AEMO? It is the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Although few are aware of it, AEMO plays a major role in our lives. It manages the NEM(National Electricity Market) and the Victorian gas transmission network. It also oversees retail electricity and gas markets in eastern and southern Australia and is working on the establishment of a Short Term Trading Market (STTM) for gas.

AEMO is also responsible for national electricity transmission planning. It investigated the South Australian blackouts and had a brief moment of media fame when the results of the investigation were released. ……..

Since the Turnbull Government was too busy shooting itself in the foot to exert any leadership over the energy situation, the task was left to AEMO. That organisation surprised some observers and delighted others by recruiting Audrey Zibelman from New York to head the task of sorting out the mess.

Once they understand what this means, the Government will be appalled by the appointment. Not only is Ms Zibleman extremely knowledgeable in the field of electricity generation, she was a major force in New York State’s the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) plan, which has 50 per cent renewables by 2030 as one of its goals. (Hang in there, Bill!) REV’s other 2030 goals are to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels and a 23 per cent decrease in energy consumption from buildings from 2012 levels. Ms Zibelman’s appointment is an indication of a new direction for AEMO’s culture and technology…….

Audrey Zibelman left Viridity in 2013 to become the Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC):

As PSC Chair, [Audrey Zibelman] … is Chair of the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. She also sits on the State Energy Planning Board; the board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc. (RGGI), the Audit Committee of RGGI, the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Task Force. Ms Zibelman was appointed to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Board of Directors and is a member of NARUC Committee on Electricity. She is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee; a member of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Future Electric Utility Regulation Advisory Group. She is also a board member of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC).

It is very clear that Audrey Zibelman has the qualifications to smarten up the Australian grid. The coal industry and its captive Turnbull Government will be furious over Ms Zibelman’s obvious renewables bias but there is absolutely nothing they can do. The simple fact is that AEMO is its own boss. It is incorporated as a company and operates as a business on a cost recovery basis, through fees paid by electricity market participants.

Turnbull should actually be pleased, since this is an example of capitalism at its best. AEMO’s customers want to make the most profit that they can. They have determined that coal generation is a loser and want to progress into more profitable renewables and battery storage — hence, the new CEO.

Audrey Zibelman and AEMO are leading the way to Australia’s smart energy future. The Turnbull Government can either climb on board or get left behind, choking on black, unclean coal dust.

Dr Norm Sanders is a former academic, TV journalist, Tasmanian MP and Australian Federal senator.,10194


April 12, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy

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