A national plan for energy could save Australian energy customers $100 billion and improve energy security, according to the final report of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap released by Energy Networks Australia and CSIRO.
The transition to net zero emissions for the electricity sector in 2050 will be driven by continued strong uptake of solar by residential and commercial users, the report says.
“The full value of millions of customer owned distributed energy resources can only be realised in a connected future that enables multidirectional exchanges of energy, information and value,” the report says, hinting at the possibilities of mainstream acceptance of energy management systems.
By 2027, it estimates about 40% of customers will use onsite resources equivalent to 29GW of solar and 34GWh of batteries.
By 2030, the authors estimate about 40% of both Victoria’s and Western Australia’s energy could be generated by intermittent renewables, as is the case in South Australia today.
NSW and Queensland are expected to follow suit in the 2030s as coal-fired power generators shut down.
The Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap is an evidence-based plan detailing what needs to be done during the next decade to provide Australians with secure and affordable energy and to decarbonise electricity by 2050.
Energy Networks Australia CEO John Bradley said that while integrating large-scale variable renewable energy will be vital, customers will drive the transformation of Australia’s electricity system as world-leading adopters of distributed energy resources.
The roadmap forecasts up to 10 million households and small customers will have distributed energy resources like solar, storage, smart homes and electric vehicles by 2050.
“Networks could buy grid support from customers instead of building their own infrastructure – in fact, annual payments to customers could be worth $1.1 billion within 10 years,” Bradley said.
“The orchestration of these new energy assets in the ‘right place at the right time’ could save customers a total of $16 billion in network costs by 2050.”
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