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Department of State Growth

Energy security

The Department of State Growth is responsible for monitoring and advising the Minister for Energy on Tasmania’s energy security.

Tasmanians enjoy a level of access to energy (electricity, natural gas and petroleum products) which by international standards is extremely reliable. However, even the most reliable supply systems have to cope with energy security challenges from time to time.

Tasmania has commitments made through memoranda of understanding with the mainland jurisdictions to align our procedures with national plans. These national plans are;

Industry participants will, in most instances, manage actual emergency situations and generally, these are resolved with little or no impact on customers or the community. Major events, such as storms and bushfires can, however, result in short periods of supply disruption.

Government does have emergency powers to use in extreme emergency situations. The exercise of such powers has not been used in modern times.

While intervention is seldom required, Government does heighten its monitoring and coordination activities when energy security risks increase.

Over the course of 2015-16 Tasmania experienced one of the most significant energy security challenges in its history. This was a consequence of the combined impact of two rare events - the record low rainfall over the Spring/Summer period combined with the first ever substantive outage of the Basslink cable.

In responding to the challenge, the Tasmanian Government put a plan in place, together with the energy businesses, to ensure that the energy requirements of the State could continue to be met. The implementation of the Energy Supply Plan was successful in maintaining energy supply to Tasmanian consumers.

The Government subsequently established a Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce to undertake an independent energy security risk assessment for the State and provide recommendations to Government.  An interim report was released in December 2016 and a final report is due in June 2017.