Australian Standards to unlock distributed electricity future

Australia’s energy system will require a thorough overhaul of Australian Standards to deal with transformations in distributed energy, smart grids and empowered customers, according to the country’s network businesses.

Energy Networks Association (ENA) CEO John Bradley said Standards would be critical for the effective integration of distributed energy resources into electricity networks to support customer choice and more efficient services.

“With rapid changes in technology, improvements must be made to the current suite of Australian Standards to leverage the full value of distributed energy resources,” Mr Bradley said.

“Australia’s energy transformation is occurring faster than most other countries’ – we need to refresh our industry Standards to support innovation and the safe, reliable and efficient delivery of services.”

Standards Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said supporting innovation is a key goal of Standards Australia.

“In the energy sector, Standards play a key role in supporting the connections between technologies, providing consistent frameworks for design and implementation, and ensuring safety,” Dr Evans said.

The ENA, in partnership with the CSIRO and as part of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap project, has identified the critical role Australian Standards will play in enabling a more dynamic energy system. The ENA had asked Standards Australia to facilitate stakeholder feedback to develop a prioritised work plan for improving Australian Standards.

“Energy networks will contribute to the work plan to provide a defined pathway and timeframes for the development and updating of relevant Australian Standards,” Mr Bradley said.

The topics and technologies proposed to be covered by new or updated Australian Standards include: distributed generation; grid-side and local energy storage; distributed energy coordination; customer energy management systems; electric vehicles; inverters; supporting technologies; and data frameworks and privacy.

Standards Australia has released a discussion paper for consultation, Standards and the Future of Distributed Electricity.Feedback on the discussion paper is invited by Monday, 7 August 2016, with the prioritised work plan expected to be published by the end of 2016.