In a recent report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has highlighted the significant potential for accelerating Australia’s decarbonization efforts by promoting the adoption and integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DER). These resources, including rooftop solar, battery storage, and demand-responsive appliances, have the potential to not only drive faster decarbonization but also reduce energy costs for consumers.
IEEFA underscores the urgent need to expedite the adoption and integration of DER, as it can leverage both household and business investments, increasing the likelihood of Australia reaching its goal of 82% renewables by 2030. This goal is especially critical in light of delays in large-scale wind and solar projects and the construction of new transmission infrastructure.
Dr. Gabrielle Kuiper, the author of the report and a guest contributor to IEEFA, emphasized the pivotal role of DER in Australia’s energy transition. While rooftop solar has been a standout performer, the report calls for a more comprehensive approach that encompasses all forms of DER, including smart electrified hot water systems, demand-responsive appliances, behind-the-meter storage, and more efficient businesses and industries.
The report offers six key recommendations for energy ministers:
- Establishing technical standards to ensure consistent DER performance.
- Removing constraints on existing solar, enabling flexible exports.
- Expanding flexible demand options for households.
- Fast-tracking distributed storage, including financial support for distributed battery systems.
- Creating a level-playing field for network services.
- Ensuring governance arrangements support rapid decarbonization and integration of renewables.
The report emphasizes the need for concerted efforts to unlock the full potential of DER and their role in achieving Australia’s renewable energy targets. By addressing technical, regulatory, and market integration challenges, Australia can maximize the benefits of these resources for consumers and the broader grid.