The Australian Energy Market Commission last week released The New Energy Guide, an online and print resource on energy options for homes and businesses.
The guide explains the opportunities and challenges associated with making sure all Australians get the benefit of solar, batteries and other new energy technology.
It looks at how the power system is changing as a result of major shifts in the way consumers use and generate energy. And it explores the work under way to manage this world-leading change and how consumers and industry have collaborated on ways forward.
For example, more than 2.6 million homes and businesses now have rooftop solar, and in the next decade another three million will join them. As electric vehicles become more common, there will be major implications for the electricity grid. If both of these changes are handled well, there will be widespread benefits.
The New Energy Guide outlines measures being considered to help the energy grid work smarter and harder. For example, how storage solutions like batteries and electric vehicles can act as a ‘solar soak’ to use excess energy from solar panels generated during the day. Or ways to push more solar into the grid more often, so it can be used at peak times when people need energy most – rather than just in the middle of the day when fewer people need it.
Common consumer questions are also addressed in the guide – like what happens to the grid if more people consume their own energy? Why are solar feed-in tariffs lower than the retail price for electricity? And what are the different components of an energy bill?
The Guide contains background and reference materials for the Commission’s reform proposals currently under consideration on integrating solar and other distributed energy resources.