In a keynote address this week the Chair of the Australian Energy Market Commission, Anna Collyer, pointed to unprecedented opportunities for large energy users emerging from rules the AEMC has either developed or is developing.
Ms Collyer spoke to the annual Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) conference, a gathering of Australia's most prominent commercial and industrial energy users, stressing the increasing importance of consumer energy resources (CER), in business applications. CER such as solar panels, batteries, energy management systems and electric vehicles, represent a growing proportion of the Australian energy sector.
The AEMC is looking at ways energy customers can optimise load in their homes or businesses as a form of CER.
“Even the term ‘consumer energy resources’ really tells a story – Australia’s energy transformation hinges on consumers, both large and small,” Ms Collyer said.
“It means more than just making your own power - the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan (ISP) and all our other modelling and rule development relies solidly on the idea of consumers being engaged in a two-way market.”
She explained three of the tools the AEMC has developed, or is developing, with particularly strong business applications in CER are:
- a completed rule that supports innovations to integrate storage into the national electricity market (NEM)
- a rule change underway to unlock the benefits of flexible trading of consumer-resource generated energy for their owners and the NEM
- and another rule change requested to cater for a scheduling at a ‘lite’ level, which would be an addition to the market as we rely more and more on dispersed and disparate sources of renewable power and widespread storage.
Ms Collyer said integrated storage, flexible trading, and scheduled lite could offer opportunities for large users to manage their energy costs to an unprecedented degree.
“Demand flexibility offers a way to reduce the load on the grid during busy periods thereby reducing energy costs, lowering peak demand and moving energy loads to when there are high amounts of renewable energy,” she said.
“It can be implemented in real-time in response to market signals, generation shortfalls or network constraints.
We're very encouraged when we see work like this ramping up participation in the transformation for a new range of consumers.”
Ms Collyer emphasised that it was important large electricity users understood that the energy transformation goes beyond a sustainability strategy.
“This is not about greenwashing – this is sensible business practice to manage costs and embed your business in a new and growing marketplace.
As regulators, we are keen to learn about more innovative projects in addition to any barriers energy users perceive to participating in the energy market.
While we're continuing our work to make space in the national energy market for more and more innovative approaches, right now, there are enormous opportunities for large customers on both sides of the meter.
We can only make the opportunities possible - it's your job to take them up,” she said.
Media: Jessica Rich, 0459 918 964, email@example.com