Mutually Beneficial Power: ARENA’s Distributed Energy Integration Program for Rooftop Solar

A new initiative from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency will investigate the impact of consumer energy on the electricity grid

Energy Matters reported yesterday about a new initiative from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) that will investigate the impact of consumer energy on the electricity grid.

The Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP) aims to harness the power of consumer energy.

ARENA uses the term Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to describe any consumer-owned small scale energy technologies (residential and commercial). These resources could include:

  • rooftop solar
  • home batteries
  • smart appliances
  • smart thermostats
  • smart pool pumps
  • and charging points for electric vehicles.

These consumer-owned systems have a potential to become larger, more efficient power sources.

Why is this initiative important?

The DEIP is important because up to 45% of all electricity generated in Australia could be coming from DER (residential rooftop solar, home and business battery storage) by 2050.

This is according to research from the CSIRO and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Electricity generated from DERs in Australia currently makes up only 3%. This suggests a massive rise in consumer-owned power by 2050.

With this in mind, the initiative seeks to “maximise the value of customers’ distributed resources for all energy users.”

Here are the main details of the initiative:

  • The initiative stakeholders include ARENA, AEMO, Australian Energy Regulator, Clean Energy Regulator, Clean Energy Council, CSIRO and Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
  • To deal with increasing uptake of these consumer-owned technologies, changes will be required to system planning, operations, markets, regulatory frameworks and industry business models.
  • ARENA CEO Darren Miller says DERs have the potential to support a reliable, affordable and lower-emissions electricity grid, which is why the planning for this should start as soon as possible.

A key point outlined in ARENA’s article about the initiative is that it will strive to be fair for all. Miller stated:

A key challenge in this transition is ensuring that consumer-owned assets help support reliable and secure system operation, and that fair value is provided back to customers for their investments.

For more information straight from ARENA, read their DEIP initiative outline here.

Read the full article from Energy Matters here.

Watch this video from ARENA:

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