About the Modelling

To inform the network transformation roadmap the role of microgrids and standalone power systems in delivering a fair system of prices for all customers into the future was examined. Energeia and CSIRO have developed a joint modelling capacity to test the impact of various policy scenarios on the efficient uptake of microgrids, and the associated impact on customer bills and equity.

The model represents the largest scale, network cost price forecast model known to the authors. Energeia used this model to identify how different tariff structures and incentive arrangements affect the rate of customers or communities disconnecting from the grids (or never connecting in the first place).

Key Findings

  1. New regulatory arrangements will be required to allow innovative service delivery for up to 27,000 new rural connections expected to occur to 2050. Almost $700 million could be saved by supplying these connections, usually farms, with a standalone power system, yet current regulations would mandate a conventional ‘grid connected’ service.
  2. Without better incentives, up to 10% of customers are likely to leave the grid by 2050, increasing average bills to other customers by $132 per year.
  3. Innovative network incentives, like a Stand Alone Power System tariff, would encourage over 1 million customers to choose to stay on-grid to sell energy using their own Distributed Energy Resources, resulting in lower costs for themselves and other grid customers.
  4. Introducing appropriate incentives for SAPS customers saves other customers around $1 billion in network bills compared to the base case.
  5. Solutions which use distributed energy resources to supply energy to a group of customers (microgrids) as an alternative to centralised grid supply can represent the lowest cost solution in some specific
  6. circumstances.