Study into benefits and impacts of renewable energy on networks

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) announced the commencement of a joint project focused on exploring the impacts and benefits of embedded generation for Australian electricity networks.

This project expands on earlier work commissioned by CSIRO in 2008 to study the value and impacts of embedded generation from an electricity network perspective.

“This important joint project between ENA and CSIRO will provide valuable information for electricity network businesses to increase their understanding of the potential benefits and impacts of embedded generation, as well as preparing network businesses for higher penetration of renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic cells,” ENA chief executive, Andrew Blyth said.

“Importantly, the main outcome of the project will be a comprehensive and practical report for ENA members to use in developing strategies, operational plans, and staff training material that will assist in the future development of the network,” Mr Blyth said.

“Specifically, the study will allow network businesses to better plan and design their grids to cope with the uptake of renewable generation technology. This will be done by modelling a range of different embedded generation scenarios.”

In addition to considering different scenarios and case studies, the project will look at the ability of renewable energy technologies to integrate effectively into a network. The study will also look at possible barriers that may impact on the benefits of utilising the uptake of renewable energy.

ENA expects the report to be finalised and completed by November 2010.