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Renewable energy records set to change around the country as rooftop solar power surges | Rare Techy


Energy production from homes and businesses with rooftop solar panels has hit record lows across Australia as fossil fuel yields fall to an all-time low.

In what is described as an unprecedented event, demand for electricity from the grid fell to record lows in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia over the past two months.

The so-called record low operating demand will offset the electricity generated by consumers and their own solar panels, which met 92 percent of all South Australian needs at one point on October 17 .

They usually occur on mild, sunny weekdays when solar output is at its peak but demand for electricity is low because many businesses are not open and there is the winds are often absent.

According to energy experts, the trend is unlikely to slow down amid the rush of rooftop solar and the growing need for new infrastructure and renewable energy needed to accommodate renewable energy.

A solar system installer fixes the solar panels on the roof of a building.
Demand among consumers for solar energy shows little sign of cooling.(Reuters: Tim Wiborne)

“We’ve seen records breaking recently – I think we should get used to that,” said Alex Wonhas, a former electrical systems engineer.

“Low demand records are like birthdays.

“They keep changing because we keep asking them.

“And as we install more behind-the-meter (solar) equipment, the remaining demand on the system will continue to decrease.”

‘Practice’ is required for the grid

Dr Wonhas sits on the board of the Energy Corporation of New South Wales, which is responsible for delivering regional renewable energy in the state.

He said that while the speed of rooftop solar is on the rise, it is not a challenge.

For starters, Dr. Wonhas said solar generation needs to be supported by other sources of energy when the sun is not shining – something that can be done with batteries, clean water, and wind turbines.

More importantly, however, he said many of Australia’s thousands of solar panels still do not provide services known as stabilization to help keep the grid stable.

Instead, he said these are services provided by most energy sources such as coal and wind power plants and hydroelectric power plants.

The power station can be seen in the sky in the early afternoon, with thick smoke billowing from the three towers.
Coal-fired power plants such as Yallourn in Victoria have struggled to cope with rising solar.(Shutterstock: Kip Scott)

To meet the technical challenges, he said the authorities are bringing in batteries as well as packages called synchronous condensers, which provide a number of stabilization services without generating electricity.

He said there is a great need for more such investments.

“In layman’s terms, it’s a little bit like when you’re riding your bike,” he said.

“When you’re going fast, the rotation of the wheels and the inertia that’s built into them keeps you going … and minimizes the differences.

“And as you go slower and slower, these differences get bigger and bigger.

“What are these [synchronous condensers] The batteries can hold that bike in place so it doesn’t wobble around.

“You don’t want your electrical system to vibrate.”

Fix ‘straight forward’

The Australian Energy Market Regulator, which controls the country’s electricity market on the East Coast and the wholesale market in WA, also has the power to switch off people’s solar panels if they are too high. weight of the grid.

Speaking on ABC radio in Perth, AEMO’s chief executive in WA, Kate Ryan, said the agency had not yet applied for the rights and did not expect to do so within months. the next six.

However, it has been revealed that South Australia has the most solar power in the country.

Andrew Blakers from the Australian Institute of Engineering and Computer Science said this spring that Australia has become a world leader in the adoption and installation of solar energy.

Professor Blakers, who is an expert in electrical engineering and power systems, agreed that the changes were being made in one direction and that Australia had an important role to play in them.

“We have a lot to do to keep the integrity of the system,” Professor Blakers said.

“If we don’t do it, the system will become unreliable.

“But they are absolutely right.

“These include the ever-increasing number of batteries and clean water systems, which will be more efficient so that we can share the energy around.

“So if it’s really sunny and windy in Queensland we can send it south to bring back the good the next day.”

Consumers need to be more proactive

According to Professor Blakers, Australia also needs to do more to make efforts in terms such as demand management.

This may include offering incentives for households, businesses and institutions to limit their use or to eliminate them altogether during periods of stress on the grid.

The roofs of the houses, most of them have solar panels
Around Australia, more than three million homes have rooftop solar.(Submitted by: Project Symphony)

He said the coming electric vehicle revolution would only add to the need for behavioral change, saying it was “crazy” to load applications into the system in the evening when the sun didn’t appear. .

“So, when it’s sunny and windy and we charge electric cars, we don’t charge at 7 o’clock on a summer evening when the sun goes down and the weather goes away,” he said.

“Australia produces more sunlight per capita than any other country.

“It’s Australia the global solar wayfinding.

“What we see in adaptation to high levels of solar and wind is relevant in the following countries such as Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Chile and others.”


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