Traditionally, electricity has been supplied to consumers through a chain starting at generation moving through to transmission, distribution and finally reaching the consumer through a retailer. Large generators were located away from most users and high voltage transmission lines delivered electricity into the low voltage system which then connected to customers.
Traditional Electricity Supply Chain
The energy system has been transitioning to a new model as more renewable energy is added to our electricity mix every year. More households and small businesses than ever are installing solar photovoltaic and battery systems to take control of their electricity bills. Over a quarter of Western Australian households have installed a solar system and large-scale renewable generators are supplying an increasing amount of our electricity needs.
New Electricity Supply Chain
Large and small-scale renewables currently used in the WA power sector include wind and solar. Along with large batteries, renewables offer great opportunities for low cost, low emissions energy. However, the intermittent nature of these energy sources is presenting challenges to maintain the security, reliability and affordability of the power system, particularly in the South West Interconnected System (the largest interconnected power system in Western Australia).
To manage these challenges, on 6 March 2019, the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Energy announced the Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy. This is the Western Australian Government’s strategy to respond to the energy transformation underway and to plan for the future of our power system.
The first stage of work under the Energy Transformation Strategy was led by the Energy Transformation Taskforce over the period May 2019 to May 2021. You can find more information about the energy transformation at: Energy Transformation Strategy: 2019 - 2021.
On 14 July 2021, the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Energy launched the next stage of the Energy Transformation Strategy, to be led by Energy Policy WA.
In the 2023 WA State Budget, the McGowan Government announced further funding of the $2.8 billion to transition the energy system for a low carbon future. The funding will go towards energy storage, wind generation and transmission network upgrades.