Network innovation for a sustainable future

Wednesday, 29 January, 2020

Network innovation for a sustainable future

Energy networks will require innovation in order to achieve a sustainable future, according to an Energy Networks Australia report.

The report said that innovation will also allow more participation by customers as the generation, delivery and consumption of electricity undergoes extensive changes.

“We don’t use electricity in the same way anymore, both in terms of how much we use and when we use it,” said Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Dillon.

“Electric vehicles, household PV solar and battery storage are tipping the system on its head. Whereas demand was high in the middle of the day, it’s now low, and where we had steady generation from coal, we now have variable renewables. This makes innovation essential to ensure we can continue to provide reliable power as affordably as possible.

“As our network evolves, innovation is also enabling customers to have a greater say in how their system operates and deliver a future where consumers have much greater control over their energy.”

The Network Innovation 2020 Report highlights some of the significant research, development and deployment occurring in power networks as new techniques and technologies are investigated to manage changes in demand and generation in the most cost-effective manner.

The report includes projects such as the 2019 Industry Innovation Award-winning Dalrymple Battery project by ElectraNet.

“The transition to renewable gas such as biogas and hydrogen is also underway to provide zero-emission energy for household heating and cooking as well as energy storage, utilising existing gas infrastructure,” Dillon said.

Networks are partnering with stakeholders such as universities, energy retailers and governments to ensure expertise is maintained during these projects.

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