The Energy Networks Association (ENA) have partnered with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), for the release of an updated database for renewable energy grid integration projects.
The ‘Integrating Renewables into the Grid Stocktake’ catalogues 208 Australian and international projects that add to Australia’s collective knowledge and experience of integrating renewable energy into distribution networks.
ENA CEO, John Bradley, said Australia’s electricity grid was the backbone of the energy system and would play a vital role in Australia’s clean energy future.
“There are tangible benefits to be gained from increased integration of renewables into the network, though these come with some economic, technical and regulatory challenges,” Mr Bradley said.
ARENA is supporting the development, updating and online hosting of the Stocktake.
ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said enabling renewables and grids to work together effectively would be critical to increasing the supply of renewable energy in Australia.
“Our electricity grids and regulations were designed to cater for centralised power generation from large power plants.
“As more decentralised renewable energy comes online, there will be a myriad of challenges and opportunities for utilities, energy retailers and policy makers to work through.
“The Stocktake will be invaluable for facilitating this work by providing a one-stop-shop for information on current projects, along with the outcomes of past efforts,” Mr Frischknecht said.
ARENA, ENA and other partners have worked together since the first release in 2014 to ensure the Stocktake remains relevant to interested industry stakeholders.
Mr Bradley said the updated Stocktake would make it easier for the renewables and electricity network sectors to work together.
“It’s critical that energy networks, the renewables sector, research institutions and technology developers collaborate to advance the evolution of the energy system,” said Mr Bradley.
One such collaboration between the Queensland University of Technology, Ergon Energy, Central Queensland University and international researchers, called ‘Planning Future Energy Grids: Renewables’, developed viable tools for predicting output from rooftop solar panels and the optimal size and placement of batteries to support network peak demand and avoid network upgrade expenditure.
“This is a vital project given Australia leads the world in the penetration of rooftop solar panels, with 1.5million installations delivering over 5000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity,” Mr Bradley said.
The updated Stocktake database and analysis can be accessed here.