The Australia Solar + Energy Storage Congress & Expo is the largest congress focusing on the Australian solar and energy storage market.
This year, it took place on December 5 and 6, at the Sofitel in Brisbane Central. Participants included policymakers, investors, developers, network providers, and product manufacturers.
The expo provided these attendees with the chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges within the energy storage space. As such, the expo played a crucial role in tackling existing renewable energy limitations, as well as leveraging new possibilities in the sector.
This is precisely why we decided to participate at this event. Our Global Head of Renewable Energy and Infrastructure, Jan Rieche, moderated the energy storage debate. The topic? “How can Renewable Energy supply the National Electricity Market (NEM)?”. The debate consisted of 2 teams, made up of 3 people in each.
Many issues and possible solutions were discussed in order to pave the way to a reliable network. Let’s take a look at the topic now.
Contributing to the NEM
Did you know, Australia has the highest rate of household solar panel installation in the world? With this in mind, it’s easy to see the value in utilising household solar energy. So, the debate looked at how these household contributions could be used to help supply the NEM.
However, there are challenges to bridge before this idea is fully feasible.
With current systems and infrastructure in place, the NEM requires a steady supply of electricity to distribute to the market. Currently, the power supply and demand is matched in real time through a centrally coordinated dispatch process. This means that the market receives specified amounts of electricity at set prices and time periods.
By contrast, household-generated renewable electricity would be prone to great fluctuations. As such, there would need to be a way to regulate these contributions into a steady and reliable supply.
Storing Renewable Energy
The expo also looked at the challenges of storing renewable energy. To address this challenge, 3 forms of storage were explored: Battery, Pump Hydro, and Molton Sand.
What became apparent was that these possibilities held some limitations in terms of their reliability, and eco-friendliness.
In order to move forward in the renewable energy sector, the storage infrastructure must be sustainable and consistent. This is another reason why we attend and support events such as the Solar + Energy Storage Congress & Expo, and look forward to continuing to do so in the future.