CSIRO releases energy transition roadmap

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In partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and leading institutions, CSIRO has detailed the research required to support the transition to a stable and affordable power system.

‘Australia’s Global Power System Transformation Research Roadmap’ identifies nine pressing research topics necessary to the transition. It follows the launch of the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Consortium last April.

The Consortium’s aim is to “dramatically accelerate the transition to low-emission and low-cost, secure and reliable power systems, contributing to less than 50 percent emission reductions over the next 10 years, with $2 billion of government and donor support for technical, market and workforce solutions that unlock $10 trillion+ of private sector investment”. It is led by the US and UK, while CSIRO and AEMO are Australian representatives.

Working with Australian universities and research institutions, nine research topics have been outlined to lead the transition:

  1. Inverter design: development of capabilities, services, design methodologies and standards for inverter-based resources (IBRs) to ensure reliability.
  2. Stability tools and methods: new tools and methods are required to ensure reliability, security and stability in power systems with more IBRs and traditional synchronous machines being phased out in the future.
  3. Control room of the future: development of new technologies and approaches for enhanced real-time visibility and analysis in power system operator control rooms.
  4. Planning: new planning metrics, methods and tools to capture the characteristics and influence of a changing resource mix.
  5. Restoration and black start: creating new procedures for black starting and restoring a power system with high or 100 percent IBR penetration.
  6. Services: quantifying the technical service requirements of future power systems to maintain the supply-demand balance reliably and at least-cost with higher penetration of renewables.
  7. Architecture: identifying appropriate future power system architectures for coordinating new technology capability, regulatory approaches, market design and the distribution/transmission interface in a highly distributed, variable renewable energy-based system to support an orderly power system transition.
  8. Distributed energy resources (DERs): investigating the challenges and opportunities from very high levels of DERs to make power system control and operation more effective.
  9. DERs and stability: modelling and analysis of DER responses to ensure system operators can maintain power system security under very high DER penetration.

“The cost of renewable energy is no longer the challenge,” says CSIRO energy systems research director Dr John Ward. “Integrating renewable energy securely and efficiently into our electricity systems, and ensuring we have the right operational tools and capabilities in place, is what we need to solve.”

The Roadmap outlines the purposes and objectives of each of the nine plans, and identifies high-priority tasks needed in the short term.

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