Because there is more to solar energy than harvesting sunshine, stakeholders and market bodies in Australia’s energy system are working together so consumers can continue to access safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy from these new energy sources. As more and more households invest in solar, the task becomes bigger.
The Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP) is a collaboration of consumer associations, energy peak bodies, energy market authorities and industry, which have been working together for some time to maximise the value of customers’ distributed energy resources (DER) for all energy users.
This joint initiative is led by ARENA – the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – and includes:
- Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
- Australia Energy Market Commission (AEMC)
- Australian Energy Regulator (AER)
- Clean Energy Regulator
- Energy Consumers Australia (ECA)
- Clean Energy Council (CEC)
- Australian Energy Council (AEC)
- Energy Networks Australia (ENA)
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
It supports information exchange and collaboration on distributed energy issues, identifying knowledge gaps and priorities, and accelerating reforms in the interest of customers.
The group is tackling the big renewable energy issues, holding regular events with leaders from across the energy industry to share information about virtual power plant (VVP) integration, address the regulatory frameworks for network businesses, and develop reforms addressing network access and pricing arrangements for energy systems that sit ‘behind-the-meter’. Behind-the-meter refers to household or business level systems that use the poles and wires managed by the electricity distribution networks, rather than large generators and storage providers that use big transmission infrastructure.
Established in 2018, DEIP’s ‘New Energy Compact’ provides a set of principles to ensure reforms are fair and equitable, energy is secure and reliable, environmental impacts are minimised, and that customers are provided with choices and protections.
Its work to date includes addressing the technical challenge of making new home energy resources like solar, batteries and electric vehicles “talk” to the market and trade services securely. It is also looking at standards and data considerations for new energy systems as well as safety and reliability issues
This work has led to the package of reforms to the rules being developed by the Australian Energy Market Commission. Much has already been achieved and there is more to do. However, it’s important for energy consumers to know that there is an organised, industry-wide collaborative approach to the change underway. Plans are in place to make sure distributed energy is integrated into the power system in a functional, responsible, effective way.