Aug 11 2022

Distribution networks and the energy transition

This latest paper in the Australian Energy Council’s series looks at the implications of an economy-wide interim emissions reduction target of 55 per cent by 2035 and the transition to net zero.

This paper looks at Australia’s electricity distribution networks. The roles and responsibilities of electricity distribution networks are being challenged by the changing mix of resources in the grid. The energy transition is not just about reducing emissions by changing technologies in large-scale generation, it is also about a trend towards more localised, or distributed energy resources (DER). The most obvious example is the millions of solar PV systems on customers’ roofs around Australia, but these are expected to be joined by batteries and electric vehicles as we move towards net zero.

These changes are creating issues in how distribution networks are regulated, how they charge for their services, boundary issues between networks and retailers, and how best to harness, or integrate, the collective resources of customer-owned assets such as rooftop PV and batteries. There is a wide range of estimates of the value of integration of DER, but all are substantial and indicate it is worth trying to get policy settings right.

Click here to read the full report.

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