IEEE Electrification Magazine - September 2015 - 22

By Anthony Vassallo, Phil Maker,
Tim Dixon, and Vassilios G. Agelidis

Electricity
Storage
Renewable energy applications
in the Australian context.

XPLOITING RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCes makes sense on many levels: first as a
response to the world's reliance on fossil
fuels and to reduce climate-changing
emissions. But beyond that, more mature
renewable generation technologies deployed in areas naturally blessed with abundant renewable resources are
beginning to challenge traditional fuels for cost-effectiveness, even as subsidies for low-carbon generation are
wound back.
However, the natural variability of some renewable
sources such as wind and solar creates substantial challenges for conventional electricity grids that have evolved
to a dispatch-type platform, where a variable load is met
through a 5-min dispatch of controllable generation. As a
greater proportion of generation is provided by renewables, the ability to dispatch generation at will becomes
increasingly difficult. The problem very simply becomes
one of trying to meet a variable load with a variable supply. It is here that energy storage promises to significantly

E

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MELE.2015.2447971
Date of publication: 1 September 2015

22

I E E E E l e c t r i f i cati o n M agaz ine / SEPTEMBER 2015

increase the stable, reliable penetration of renewables into
the grid, and perhaps in the long term, make grid disconnection a viable alternative for many users.

Household Storage Trends and Applications
This section briefly examines some of the drivers for
small-scale storage in Australia, including the current
trends toward higher electricity prices and increased penetration of household solar photovoltaic (PV) generation.

Background-Current and Near-Term Status
of Small-Scale Renewable Generation
In the last decade, there has been a dramatic rise in
retail electricity prices in Australia coinciding with
markedly reduced industrial and residential demand for
grid-supplied power. Since May 2004, the average Australian retail price of electricity has more than doubled,
mainly driven by increases in network tariffs. At the
same time, declines in electricity demand have been
accelerating; the Australian Energy Market Operator
estimates that overall national electricity market (NEM)
demand fell from a peak of 198 TWh in 2009-2010 to
184 TWh in 2013-2014-well below the demand levels
seen a decade ago.
2325-5987/15©2015IEEE



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Electrification Magazine - September 2015

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