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News Services 31 – Electrotechnology Training Package endorsed; Gas Vision 2050 Webinar; Smart & Skilled Update 114; Shades of hydrogen ‘colors’; Electricity demand – stage 4 lockdowns; Hydrogen blend & gas framework; Small business & Safe Work Month; Gas added skill recovery scheme

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  1. SKILLS MINISTERS ENDORSE ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE FOR IMPLEMENTATION
  2. GAS VISION 2050 WEBINAR
  3. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE NO 114 – 2 OCTOBER 2020
  4. SHADES OF HYDROGEN: WHAT’S IN A COLOUR?
  5. STAGE 4 LOCKS DOWN ELECTRICITY DEMAND
  6. HYDROGEN BLENDING AND THE GAS COMMERCIAL FRAMEWORK
  7. REMEMBER IT IS SMALL BUSINESS MONTH AND SAFE WORK MONTH
  8. GAS RTO APPROVED TO DELIVER QUALIFICATIONS IN SKILLS FOR RECOVERY SCHEME
  9. REVIEW OF REGULATION ON SUPPLYING GAS FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION TO START IN 2021

1. SKILLS MINISTERS ENDORSE ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE FOR IMPLEMENTATION

AIS reports that the “Electrotechnology Training Package (Release 2.0) has been endorsed by Skills Ministers for implementation. 

This release ensures the Training Package supports the skills and knowledge required by industry and incorporates the transition of the UEE11 Electrotechnology Training Package to align with the Standards for Training Packages 2012.  The approved Training Package materials are now available on TRAINING.GOV.AU (UEE).

This release of the Training Package covers 79 qualifications, 50 Skill Sets and 530 Units of Competency and result from the below projects:

  • Electrical
  • Electrical Engineering and Industrial Control
  • Electronics and Computers
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Handling of A2 Refrigerants”

AIS thanked the subject matter experts on the Technical Advisory Committees and to all stakeholders who provided valuable feedback.

In relation to Refrigeration and Air Conditioning competencies and qualifications which this ITAB supported, it is worth noting the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) welcomed the announcement that the Skills Ministers had signed off on the Training Package, stating, “updated package relate to changes to UEE32220 Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration to ensure it includes the latest refrigerants, technologies, Standards, Codes, and work health and safety requirements.

Other changes include the development of a new unit of competency for refrigerant recovery from end of life stationary RAC equipment and the addition of the safe handling of A2/A2L refrigerants unit. This was developed by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) and, together with the existing hydrocarbon refrigerant unit, will form the flammable refrigerant unit of competency.”

Readers would be familiar with this ITABs previous statements of concern with the Australian Industry and Skills Committee’s (AISC’s) decision to proceed to progress a defective productive to endorsement, in that it will result in major issues for RTOs, employers and learners, particularly electrical licensed related qualifications.  With a two year transition period afforded to the implementation of the Training Package, it will take some time for the defects to become evident for users, at which stage there will be a need yet again to make amendments to the Training Package.  Very disappointing and as stated previously, impacted RTOs and others will be referred directly to AISC to respond to and correct, as they knowingly proceeded to endorse a defective product to market.  Time will tell.

Worth noting also, in relation to this new Training Package is that there are some new arrangements related to workplace evidentiary validations in relation to the electrical qualifications that will need to be complied with. It will mean significant new measures will need to be put in place by RTOs. In some instances RTOs may find the requirements overly demanding and resource intensive. They should make every effort to fully interpret and understand the new requirements in order to ensure they maintain compliance with their registration obligations.

If you would like to discuss further the new workplace requirements that are bound to raise some serious issues, and will pose new pressures on RTOs, please feel free to contact the undersigned.


2. GAS VISION 2050 WEBINAR

Energy Networks Association (ENA) will conduct a webinar on the 14 October 2020 – 1.00pm – 2.15pm (AEDT); 12noon – 1.15pm (AEST); 10.00am – 11.15pm (AWST).

The seminar will explore Australia’s journey to a cleaner energy future, gas and gas infrastructure has a significant role to play, and the industry is responding through research and projects that are leading the decarbonisation of Australia’s gas sector.

Guest speaker, is Hon. Angus Taylor MP – Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.

The webinar will hear industry leaders discuss the new landmark report, Gas Vision 2050: Delivering a clean energy future, and the transformational technologies and projects that will decarbonise the gas sector and help Australia meet its emissions reduction commitments.

If you would like to register for the event visit: GAS VISION 2050 – DELIVERING A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE

ENQUIRIES CONTACT: APPEAMAIL@APPEA.COM.AU


3. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE NO 114 – 2 OCTOBER 2020

Please find attached Smart and Skilled Update No. 114, which covers the following:

  1. NSW Skills List Update – Version 11.1 released
    1. Qualifications removed from the Skills List following review
    1. Updates to the Skills List as a result of Training Package and accredited course changes
    1. VTO changes affecting the NSW Skills List

Version 11.1 of the NSW Skills List is now available at www.training.nsw.gov.au/smartandskilled/nsw_skills_list.html.

The Smart and Skilled Prices and Fees Schedule at https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/smartandskilled/prices_fees.html has also been updated to Version 11.1 to incorporate changes to the Skills List.

For more information visit: https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/smartandskilled/index.html

Or, for technical support in relation to this update, contact Training Market Customer Support at Training.Market@det.nsw.edu.au.


4. SHADES OF HYDROGEN: WHAT’S IN A COLOUR?

Energy Networks Association (ENA) reports in its recent article, that “Choosing which shade of hydrogen to pursue has become a polarised and political debate. But the issue is not as black and white as it seems. We take a look at the many hues of hydrogen.”

The article covers a virtual conference that was held on 15 and 16 September 2020 in lieu of the earlier programmed 2nd Annual Hydrogen Forum.  The forum provided updates on hydrogen projects and a pivotal platform to exchange information.

ENA states of, “One session that was of particular interest considered whether the market should move directly to green hydrogen or whether the journey to decarbonising gas could accommodate a role for brown, grey and blue hydrogen.

So, what are these different hydrogen hues?

Brown – hydrogen produced by using coal where the emissions are released to the air;

Grey – hydrogen produced from natural gas where the associated emissions are released to the air;

Blue – hydrogen produced from natural gas, where the emissions are captured using carbon capture and storage; and

Green – hydrogen produced from electrolysis powered by renewable electricity.

There are also other colours of hydrogen that are less often used including pink, yellow or turquoise.

As a low carbon option, the debate is narrowed to blue and green hydrogen, especially in Australia as we do not have a nuclear industry (which can also be included as a low carbon option for producing hydrogen in other countries).”

“A better question to ask would be:

How do we build demand for clean hydrogen?

The use of hydrogen as an alternative to incumbent energy sources ultimately comes down to building demand. Right now, there is no commercial justification for a more expensive energy source due to the lack of carbon pricing signals. There is, however, an environmental and economic imperative to get moving on decarbonising gas- and there is subsequently a lot of industry focus on and investment in green hydrogen technology.

How do we pick a winner?

The objective shouldn’t be picking a winner between technologies. It should be to build a demand base for hydrogen so that the gas of the future can be green. Different colours of hydrogen may all play a role in getting us there.

For more detailed information visit: UNDERSTANDING HOW WE GET TO THE END GOAL OF DECARBONISING ENERGY


5. STAGE 4 LOCKS DOWN ELECTRICITY DEMAND

In additional article Energy Networks Association (ENA) reports, “Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions have exacerbated the pandemic skew of electricity demand away from seasonal norms. As the crippled Victorian economy remains on ice and more customers stay at home, Victorian distributors have mapped updated data.

Thanks to the ubiquitous smart meters, we’ve been mapping the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on electricity consumption in Victoria throughout the pandemic. So, what has changed in response to the second wave and the stricter rules as part of Stage 3 and 4 restrictions in August?

The consumption for a given month in 2020 is compared with the consumption in the same month in 2019, with no correction for the influence of weather.”

If you would like to review the data maps that illustrate how the impact of the restrictions from April to June 2020 changed electricity consumption.  Visit the following links:

“Jemena recently published a report which details the astonishing 50 billion energy consumption data points it has collected over the ten years of the smart meter program. That’s 5 billion a year, for just one of the distribution networks in Victoria.

As the charts and maps show, this data is very rich and provides key insights into not only how and when consumers use electricity, but also allows support to be targeted at consumers who need it most.

This analysis of consumption is based on raw, unaudited data. In some cases, gaps exist, which may cause comparisons of consumption between 2019 and 2020 in smaller postcodes to be less accurate. Again, all the maps and analysis in this article are illustrative and should not be used as a basis for decision making.

Acknowledgements

Energy Networks Australia would like to acknowledge the Victorian DNSPs which have shared their data during the COVID-19 pandemic and have provided these maps.”

The maps are a very good learning tool for those who like to analyse and explore electricity consumption data.


6. HYDROGEN BLENDING AND THE GAS COMMERCIAL FRAMEWORK

An interesting report has recently been issued in the UK covering a call for government to introduce hydrogen target for Britain’s gas grids to realise the country’s zero-carbon hydrogen ambitions. ‘The Engineer’ states in its article of 22 September 2020, that the new report, “Hydrogen blending and the gas commercial framework – Report on conclusions of NIA study, September 2020, published by Cadent as part of Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Gas Goes Green programme is calling for a new hydrogen target for Britain’s gas grids.  The article states, “The Frontier Economics report sets out the changes that need to be made for gas network companies to start blending large quantities of clean hydrogen with existing methane fossil gas in Britain’s 284,000km network of gas pipelines.

The report concludes that setting a target date for new large-scale hydrogen production plants to connect to the gas network will help stimulate demand for hydrogen production, pump-priming investment in a hydrogen economy and keep Britain on course to build the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid.

ENA research shows that if investment into zero carbon hydrogen infrastructure began today, the country would be a net beneficiary of that investment five years ahead of its 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target, saving bill payers £89bn.

In a statement, Angie Needle, Strategy Director at Cadent said: “The Committee on Climate Change has said that for hydrogen to be a viable green energy option for the future, hydrogen projects will need to get off the ground in the 2020s.”

The report sets out a government target date for the connection of the first hydrogen production plant to the gas grid to help get projects off the ground. It also highlights how a limited number of technical changes need to take place to the way that Britain’s gas networks work to enable hydrogen blending.”

A copy of the report is attached and can be accessed also from the article in ‘The Engineer’ at: REPORT URGES ACTION ON HYDROGEN BLENDING


7.   REMEMBER IT IS SMALL BUSINESS MONTH AND SAFE WORK MONTH

7.1.    Small business month 1 – 31 October 2020: How to boost your business this October

Following a very successful launch last week, NSW Small Business Month is well and truly underway this October. We’re here to help you build your brand on social, futureproof your business, work with digi-tech and much more so make sure you check out this week’s activity highlights below to help you get the most out of NSW Small Business Month.

7.2.    SafeWork Month 1 – 31 October 2020: Work Health and Safety through COVID-19

“In Australia, October is National Safe Work Month – a time to make your commitment to improving safety and health in your workplace.

This year’s theme, Work Health and Safety through COVID-19, acknowledges and reflects the wide-reaching impacts of COVID-19 on Australian businesses, employers and workers.

Workplaces have had to quickly adapt their practices and procedures to reduce the WHS risks arising from COVID-19 and to manage the psychological effects of the pandemic on workers.”

Visit the website for more information: NATIONAL SAFE WORK MONTH


8.   GAS RTO APPROVED TO DELIVER QUALIFICATIONS IN SKILLS FOR RECOVERY SCHEME

The Gas industry has again been recognised as an important industry following the approval of UEG30118 – Certificate III in Gas Supply Industry Operations qualification listed as a priority qualification for the scheme. 

Up to 20 positions have been set aside for funding should the demand increase up until End Of Financial Year (EOFY).  This is a great result for the industry that is experiencing a skill shortage in this field and has had to continue work as normal during the COVID19 pandemic, because they have been classified as essential workers.

Training Services NSW is to be congratulated for including the qualifications into the scheme.  This is a welcomed decision and we support RTOs offering this qualification to provide increased opportunities to bring new operatives into the industry.

For more information of the list of RTOs under the scheme contact the NSW UE ITAB at your convenience.


9.   REVIEW OF REGULATION ON SUPPLYING GAS FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION TO START IN 2021

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) reports in its latest media release that, “Energy ministers have asked AEMC to review the nation’s gas supply guarantee arrangements and report back to them in early 2022.”

Terms of Reference for the review describe the gas supply guarantee as “an important mechanism (to) ensure availability of gas to meet the demands of gas generators during peak demand periods across national electricity market jurisdictions.”

“Under this review the AEMC will consider whether the guarantee should continue either in its current or in another form.

We will carry out this work during 2021 and report back to the energy ministers in the first quarter of 2022.

The purpose of this review is to advise energy ministers on:

whether there continues to be value in retaining a mechanism of this or similar type;

whether, and in what form, such a mechanism should be incorporated in the national energy framework.

What is the gas supply guarantee (GSG)?

The guarantee was initiated by the Australian Government in March 2017 in a package of gas market initiatives which included the national domestic gas reservation policy.”

“These guidelines are in operation until March 2023.

Under these guidelines, AEMO monitors gas and electricity market outlooks to help it form a view on the risk of supply shortfalls in gas available to meet the needs of gas fired generators operating at the capacity required during peak demand periods in the national electricity market.

If AEMO considers that there is, or may be, a shortfall, then a conference of industry participants is convened to resolve the supply inadequacy.”

For more information visit: INDEPENDENT REGULATORY REVIEW OF AUSTRALIA’S SUPPLY OF GAS FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION TO START IN 2021