The management of Australia’s looming energy crisis has so far focused almost exclusively on the supply side of the equation: exploiting new gas reserves, expanding the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme, and building new infrastructure.
|Adelaide CBD was left in total darkness after yet another blackout.|
Meanwhile, the huge potential of improving efficiency and demand management, which could save vast amounts of energy, has largely been ignored.
One promising development is the recent announcement of a trial of demand response incentives in Victoria and South Australia.
Next summer, households and businesses who sign up for the trial will be paid when they agree to be on standby to reduce their energy use during times of increased peak demand or natural disaster. They’ll be paid again if their electricity is actually reduced.
ClimateWorks Australia’s research shows that initiatives to better manage energy use could reduce peak demand on the national grid by more than 10% – or 3.8 gigawatts – the output of two Hazelwood power stations over peak times.
Read the piece on The Conversation by the Head of Research from ClimateWorks Australia at Monash University, Amandine Denis - “Managing demand can save two power stations’ worth of energy at peak time.”