SEN Presents - March 2017 - A renewable energy electricity system – what will it look like?

Our speaker, Professor Bill Grace, generated quite a bit of excitement and discussion around the implications of the growth of rooftop solar and storage. Bill offered several scenarios based on very low technology costs resulting in a high uptake of ‘behind the meter’ household and commercial solar PV and battery storage. Under these assumptions, utility-scale renewables might play a less important role as we transition to 100% renewables. Bill presented scenarios for a 100% renewable transition by 2030, 2040 and 2050.  The 2030 scenario shows a relatively quick transition from fossil fuel generation with a mix of domestic and utility-scale renewables. However, in the models presented, private solar generation and storage would eclipse large scale renewables by 2050 because of their rapidly falling costs. This could impact the economics for investors in utility-scale renewables. 

While these scenarios paint a different picture to SEN's own modelling, the similarities highlight the need for Government to provide leadership in the transition to renewables. Government intervention is needed to ensure an optimal mix of technologies on the grid, and plan appropriately for grid security and reliability.  To see Professor Bill Grace’s presentation  click here