This audit would examine the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ design, establishment and administration of the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

In late 2018, the UNGI program was announced by the government as a direct response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Retail Electrical Pricing Inquiry, which found competition in the wholesale market was not working as well as it could, detrimentally affecting electricity affordability. The program aims to support new energy generation projects for the National Electricity Market to lower prices and increase reliability. Financial support mechanisms may include contractual arrangements, guarantees, loans or grants. In March 2019, the government announced that 66 proposals had been assessed against the program’s objectives and eligibility criteria. Of those, 12 projects were shortlisted with a combined capacity of 3,818 megawatts of new generation.