System security and reliability
The report assesses the contribution of ARENA’s reliability portfolio towards ARENA’s strategic outcomes and towards the achievement of a secure, reliable and affordable electricity system with a significantly higher share of renewable energy.
About the report
ARENA engaged Houston Kemp Economists to evaluate ARENA’s reliability portfolio (that is, projects demonstrating ways to deliver reliable electricity supply from renewable energy). This includes battery storage, pumped hydro energy storage, concentrated solar thermal, distributed energy resources and other projects showing the ability of a high-renewable electric power system to deliver electricity in the quantity and quality demanded by energy users.
The evaluators found that:
- ARENA’s funding has demonstrated comprehensive coverage across a suitable range of technology, reliability needs and affordability impacts
- Technological coordination is the area of the portfolio where ARENA funding has had, and will continue to have, the largest impact on affordability
- ARENA has distributed funding across the range of innovation phases, from research to demonstration and deployment
- ARENA has funded projects covering all of the reliability needs identified by the evaluators (with the exception of conventional plant flexibility as this falls outside of ARENA’s mandate). The reliability needs that have received the most funding are broadly aligned with the most pressing needs of the sector.
- ARENA has allocated resources effectively within the portfolio to maximise affordability impacts.
In their recommendations, the evaluators identified opportunities for ARENA to maximise the impact of remaining funding. Broadly, ARENA is considering alignment with the opportunities identified by the evaluators when assessing relevant project proposals.