Distributed energy resources
This report identifies whether there is a positive business case for network investment in resilience-based stand-alone power systems (SAPS). The report also provides recommendations on the current regulatory and consumer protection settings to identify potential gaps and barriers to network investment in SAPS for resilience purposes.
The capacity for electricity networks to prepare, absorb and recover from natural hazard events is referred to as resilience.1 This year has seen an unprecedented number of cost pass through applications being made by electricity network businesses to recover costs sustained to network infrastructure from natural hazard events including bushfires2, severe storms3 and winds4 from extreme conditions experienced across Australia in 2019 and early 2020.
Natural hazard events have significant cost implications for network businesses and the economy more broadly. Maintaining power supply is linked to the ability of communities to absorb and recover from these types of events. Findings from a study commissioned by the Australian Business Round Table for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities indicate that natural disaster events cost the economy on average $13 billion every year,5 highlighting the need for proactive measures.
The issue of network resilience is likely to continue to grow in importance, given that the severity and frequency of extreme weather events in Australia are almost certain to increase over coming years as a result of climate change.