To support the advancement of renewable energy in Australia, we work with the project owners, industry and other organisations to collect, store and share their knowledge.
We have identified priority areas where data, information and know-how will be valuable and help the renewable energy industry to grow. We call it our high-value knowledge list.
This list helps applicants develop a plan for sharing their knowledge as part of their project. The knowledge sharing plan is a key step in ARENA’s funding programs.
Top 10 knowledge priorities
Approaches to de-risk and lower project costs This information will help technology developers and project proponents. It could include models and approaches that de-risk projects and support effective financing, for example by addressing barriers such as the higher upfront costs and longer payback periods often associated with renewable energy projects. Commercialising research and development This knowledge will connect researchers and industry to share and advance research towards commercialisation. This could include identifying commercialisation opportunities and the possible applications for advances in renewable energy technology. Network connection guidance and experiences This information will help projects navigate the network connection process by providing guidance, experience, and lessons learned. This could include the business and regulatory considerations, as well as the role of new business models in helping to integrate renewables into networks. Project costs (capital and operation and maintenance) This will help projects in the planning and fundraising phases by providing information on the real-world costs of built projects. Project deployment experiences Experiences from projects undertaken in Australia will help project developers and policy-makers. Project-specific experiences could cover:
- engineering, procurement and construction
- the capability and composition of project teams
- approval processes
- policy and regulatory settings
- community engagement
- and operation and maintenance.
Experiences from programs and policies can also help to inform policy settings.
Renewable energy forecasting and planning systems These systems will help technology developers and utilities by filling the gap in renewable energy forecasting systems, both for electricity grids (NEM and SWIS) and off-grid applications. ARENA already has a number of forecasting and planning projects in its portfolio. Renewable energy knowledge hub A register or centralised store of information and knowledge on renewable energy that would allow people working within the renewable energy sector and beyond to connect with information already available and to benefit from other people’s experiences, rather than undertaking their own studies. Resource and opportunity maps and data This data will support renewable energy technology developers and researchers. By developing maps, data and information, users will be able to compare areas with good renewable energy resources with areas of market demand, infrastructure, network constraints, priority zones and existing generation in analysing areas of opportunity. System design and integration challenges and solutions This information will help projects integrating renewable technologies. It will provide information on the challenges of system design and integration (including for off-grid or isolated-grid projects) and will help provide examples of effective solutions, including technical issues in connecting to the grid. Technology performance data This information will benefit technology developers. Collecting technology-specific performance data over time will help to demonstrate improvements in reliability and stability. This includes performance in different conditions and could cover system output, accuracy of forecasting, storage performance and the reduction of fuel costs.
Existing ARENA-funded projects are already addressing a number of items on the list and we will update the list from time to time.
Other high-value knowledge sharing priorities
While we have identified our top ten knowledge priorities, we recognise there are also other areas where knowledge is valuable. The following list outlines some of these other areas.
Analysis of renewable energy viability Information on the current and future technology costs compared to the current and future market value of energy will support energy users to make informed decisions about the viability of renewable energy options. Experiences from Australian projects outside ARENA This information will benefit Australian technology and project developers. Information on projects that have been privately financed or funded by state and territory governments will help paint a clearer picture of current challenges for renewable energy in Australia along with possible solutions. This could include case studies, lessons learned, and the effectiveness or failure of projects. Experiences from international projects This information will benefit developers, governments and financiers. It would include solutions to challenges that are also relevant to Australia, lessons learned for government programs and policies, and the effectiveness of various approaches and business models. Feasibility studies ARENA supports a number of feasibility studies to test new technologies or scope specific projects. The information uncovered through these studies could benefit other projects. Information about planning and approvals processes This information will help developers navigate the planning and approvals process, which can often be challenging for new technology. This information could include key risks, process guides, a summary of previous decisions, the minimum data-sets required for the planning and approvals stage – for example, grid connection agreements, engineering studies, or community consultations. Information about project financing This information will help technology developers understand and plan for project financing. Information could include the common information required by financiers, guidance on how ‘bankability’ is defined, or an example of a grid-connection budget. Information about renewable energy for planners This is information that will help planners to assess renewable energy projects, including lessons learned from other planners, relevant studies, summaries of previous decisions and reasons, standards and benchmarks for renewable technologies, and a common assessment methodology. Project information for the community Project level information that helps support community understanding of renewable energy, including its economic, environmental and societal benefits. Research outcomes Information from research and development activities conducted in Australia and internationally (that can be applied to Australia). Technology Readiness Level and Commercial Readiness Index status updates ARENA supports projects along the pathway to commercialisation. Technology is benchmarked against Technologies Readiness Levels, and against the Commercial Readiness Index. These tools help assess the development of projects and technologies. Information on the status and viability of technologies , their progress, barriers to further advancement and possible solutions will help technology and project developers to design relevant projects.