Australians Favor Demand Response Schemes Than New Power Stations – Survey

Electric Meter

A report from Dan Cass, a strategist at the Australia Institute expounds that demand response enables energy consumers to sell “megawatts” of reduced demand into the National Electricity Market in order to maintain the stability of the grid and lessen price peaks.

According to Cass, “Respondents were asked which they thought was a better way to plan for peak demand events. Two-thirds (64 percent) supported demand response, while 28 percent supported building new grid infrastructure and power stations.”

He further stated, “This polling shows the public understands demand response is cheaper and faster and are supportive of the technology. There is a real eagerness from Australians to make money by generating, storing, and trading electricity. What is needed are smart regulations that would unleash huge benefits to the stability, efficiency of the grid, and lower prices to boot.”

There were also four out of five voters who said they are interested in taking part in various demand response methods.

The respondents were also asked if they were keen on turning off certain appliances off for at least 30 minutes during a demand peak, in return for a payment. Here are the results of the survey:

  • Eighty-five percent of voters stated they would be interested in turning down the heating temperature two degrees for half an hour
  • Eighty-two percent of the respondents said they would be eager in turning off appliances such as computers and televisions for at least 30 minutes
  • Seventy-seven percent of the respondents said they would turn off their air conditioners for half an hour

“Demand response can deliver security faster and cheaper than building new power stations and more efficiently than prolonging the life of aging plants like Liddell. Technology has overtaken ideology.”

For the full report, click here.

South Australia is Home to a New Solar Power Research Centre

Solar Panel

The facility is situated at the vehicle factory of Precision Components in Edinburgh Parks. It has 25 heliostats and a 16-metre -tall concentrated solar PV receiver.

Heliostats centre sunlight onto a central receiving tower and depending on the kind of receiver unit, either heat or a variety of fluids can be utilised to produce steam in order to power turbines and generate electricity. The sunlight can also be changed into electricity directly by making use of a high-efficiency cell receiver, such as the ones used to power satellites in space.

This future generation solar power technology will be essential in the development of renewable power sources locally and internationally. This innovation aims to deliver more stable energy production especially when every innovation in renewable energy systems is important.

Peter Murphy, the Lead Researcher and Industry Professor at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, said that the design challenges in creating a heliostat surface that could endure all the environment can deliver are nearly the same as some of the challenges in designing the car mirror.

Professor Murphy stated, “Heliostats need to withstand heat, cold, rain, UV light exposure, and abrasion by sand, often in harsh, arid environments. To be really effective, they must have a lifetime of 25 to 30 years and that presents a huge set of challenges at a macro and nanoscale.”

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill mentioned that the new facility and the research and development initiatives being done in partnership with UniSa proves that South Australia leads in the national transformation for technologies developed for the renewable energy sector.

He said, “Working in partnership with Precision Components, a company previously servicing the automotive industry, the two companies demonstrate a successful diversification from a manufacturing skill base into other industry sectors. There is huge potential for growth in South Australia’s renewables sector. Heliostat has an impressive plan to develop a $1.6 million new tracking system that would create 33 construction and more than 90 ongoing jobs.”

Click here for the full report.

Salary Packages in Solar Industry on the Rise – Survey

Solar Installation

The improvement was revealed in the first Renewable Energy Salary Survey, which also indicated the growing market for clean energy, Energy Matters website reported.

According to the survey, the average yearly full-time salary package in the renewable industry is approximately around $140,000, with a third earning annual salaries of $60,000 to $99,999. It also reflects a higher level of worker confidence in the renewable sector.

The survey, wherein 400 people participated, was conducted by Cranfield Projects in collaboration with EcoGeneration and backed up by data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from 2015 to 216.

ABS said that prospects for years 2016 to 2017 are increasing due to larger investments, implementation of large-scale projects, and higher demand for solar batteries.

The survey results also indicated, “Some participants had speculated that the salary levels do not match to other industries, such as mining, oil, and gas. However, many believe these remuneration levels ‘will change and are changing’ to become higher and acceptable by the employees.”

It also concluded that salary packages are significant factors in order to attract more qualified professionals in the renewable energy sector.

Only 14 percent of the respondents said that they have received a year-on-year pay increase larger than or equal to 10 percent. More than 65 percent of them think the increase in their salaries does not align with their experience in the industry.

Higher-ranked employees such as Energy analyst, Director, and Sales Manager with three to five years experience working in the clean energy industry believe that salary levels may be low because of the growing competition in the job market.

The survey also stated, “Some respondents who were satisfied with salary levels nevertheless were critical of the government and its efforts in the effective deployment of renewable energy policies. Some responses realised that many passionate people ‘lining up to be involved in the industry’ although it is often hampered by ‘unstable short-term-thinking government energy policies,’ negativity in the mainstream media, and the ‘irresponsible government policy vacuum.”

Read the full report here.

Australia Sees Record Levels of Investment for Renewables

Wind Farm

As written on the website of the CEC, Kane Thornton, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, stated that 41 new renewable energy projects have been confirmed this year. These projects give way for a remarkable surge of investment which amounts to more than $8 billion, generate an estimated 4,680 new jobs, and create notable economic benefits for local businesses.

Thornton said, “These 41 projects will deliver over 4330MW of new capacity, which is crucial to increasing supply in the energy market, replacing old coal-fired generation that continues to close and ensuring downward pressure on power prices.”

“Private investors have committed to 26 projects currently under construction, with another 14 securing finance and expected to commence construction in 2017. It is incredible to see the shift in conversation and action around and in the industry. In addition, there is a strong uptake of rooftop solar systems from Australian homes and businesses, expected to deliver over 1000MW of capacity worth over $2 billion during 2017. This combined investment in power generation in this country’s history,” he added.

He also praised the combined effort of state and territory governments, as well as the government agencies, of initiating and supporting such projects. Thornton also expressed that the 2020 Renewable Energy Target is now within reach because of the various institutions and organisations’ support.

Thornton further mentioned, “We have already seen six times the investment value in 2017 of what we saw in 2016, and the new capacity will also help with energy security. In 2016, the combined capacity from all projects completed stood at 264.1 MW. This year, 2210.2 MW of projects have been committed and 1881.2 MW are in construction with a whole financial quarter still to go.”

For the full report and breakdown of the projects committed this year, click this link.

Samsung Batteries Selected for New Large Battery Storage in South Australia

Wind Farm

Renew Economy reported on its website that the contract was awarded last week to the Consolidated Power Projects by ElectraNet. The former will work with Samsung and ABB, an international energy firm, to complete the project.

The said installation will be located near the Dalrymple sub-station and the AGL Energy-owned 90MW wattle Point wind farm. It will amount to approximately $30 million with $12 million contribution from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The primary use of the project is to provide fast frequency response services in case of a fault. Also, the battery installation will be able to become a backup power if there is a blackout, which could produce a renewable energy based micro-grid. In 2016, Andy Vesey of AGL expressed that this is the best method to guarantee reliable supply.

ElectraNet CEO Steve Masters said, “The South Australian energy mix and landscape has significantly changed in the recent years and this project will help the State to adapt to this change. The battery will demonstrate how energy storage can strengthen the grid and improve reliability for the lower Yorke Peninsula.”

He added, “It will work with AGL’s existing 90MW Wattle Point Wind Farm and rooftop solar PV to provide backup power in the event of any interruption to supply from the grid until the grid is restored. These learnings will be applicable in the future to other potential grid locations.”

The battery storage system is anticipated to be fully operational by May 2018. It is also considered as one of the large-scale battery systems located in South Australia.

Read the full article here.