Power on, my sun
Rooftop solar panels key to future
HOUSEHOLD rooftop solar panels and more efficient appliances will keep grid-supplied electricity consumption stable for the next 20 years — an energy market operator predicts.
This is despite a projected 30 per cent increase in population. An electricity forecast update from the Australian Energy Market Operator also predicted peak demand on the grid will move to later in the day when there is little or no solar generation is available.
The shift is forecast because of an increase in solar demand as consumers become more educated about household energy needs and costs.
Advances in technology and battery storage appliances are also expected to provide consumers with more opportunities to better manage their energy use, the report said.
AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman said the popularity in household solar use had seen a significant drop in their cost. The increase in households and businesses installing rooftop panels is predicted to remain strong until the late 2020s.
The Electricity Forecasting Insights report, released today, found Australian homes and businesses would be generating about 20,000 megawatts — more than 10 times the amount of the recently decommissioned Hazelwood coalfired power station — by 2037.
By that summer the maximum Victorian energy demand is forecast at 9758MW, 15,276MW in NSW and 10,021MW in Queensland.
Ms Zibelman said the energy sector’s transition to a low carbon future would provide important opportunities and challenges for consumers and the energy industry alike.
“The energy industry may leverage opportunities to assist consumers in managing costs through more targeted products and services,” she said.
But she warned the energy sector was likely to require investment in generation, network and demand solutions to ensure reliability and security of supply.
Ms Zibelman said household battery storage will become “far more prevalent” with the uptake of rooftop solar while energy efficient appliances would become a more normal part of life.
The government plans to implement regulations ensuring coal-fired power stations give at least a three-year notice period to prepare the market before their closure.