Smart Grid in Australia

Published: 2021-06-29 07:11:54
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Category: Technology

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Executive summary
Australia's first commercial-scale project - Smart Grid Smart City has commenced in 2009. It is a three-year demonstration project to test applications and produce data in order to be a reference case to smart grid projects afterwards in Australia. However, lack of common understanding on standards of applications may be an obstacle to smart grid deployment that Australia have to face. The main purpose of this report is to show the rollout of smart grid projects in Australia and find out potential opportunities as well as challenges.

1. Introduction
Energy requirement is dramatically increasing worldwide, which may not be satisfied by current electricity grid system, though it has served us well for a long period. A smart grid applies advanced technology to make it work more efficiently and bring us a low-carbon future.
Australia has commenced its work on smart grid project since recent years. In 2009, the Australian Government announced Federal Budget for initiating Australia's first commercial-scale smart grid project - Smart Grid Smart City (SGSC). As a demonstration project, it is of great significance to help the development of smart grid in Australia to move toward to the next stage by testing a number of applications and applying advanced technologies.
This report will cover a brief introduction to smart grid and the smart grid commenced in Australia, including the current status of smart grid in Australia, SGSC program, obstacles Australia faces and a perspective of Australia's smart grid in the future.
2. A Smart Grid
Smart grid is an electricity power grid that integrates advanced information and communications technology with electricity infrastructure such as smart meters, sensors, to enable two-way information flow between users and distribution substation; and real-time monitoring and control of the grid.
The benefits of creating a smart grid are not only to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the generation, transmission and distribution, and usage of power; but also to better integrate renewable energy and distributed generation in current electricity network. Consequently it helps to alleviate global warming issue by accelerating the progress on reduction greenhouse gas emission. Besides, consumers can manage their energy consumption and control their costs when well using in-home display (IHD) devices or smart meters. About 7% of energy usage would be reduced and 15% in peak demand period [1]. In United States, when deploying these widely, up to 15% saving of the peak lads equals more than 100 GW, or the need to build 100 large coal-fired power plants over the next 20 years, which could save up to US$200 billion in capital expenditures on investment of new plan and grid [2]. Smart grid is essential to support wider use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) instead of gasoline cars. However, some countries put their efforts to modernize the grid to be smarter are mainly driven by specific goals based on different requirements of traditional electricity network. Taking United States for instance, more reliable system will help it reduce power outages of two hours per capita per year while it is only 16 minutes in Japan [3].
3. Smart Grid in Australia
The smart grid is in its early stage in Australia. It has evolved from concept to reality since 2009 and there was a general lack of clear understanding on how smart grids would play out in Australia. Energy companies were still at early phase of developing smart grid strategies, said Paul King, Logica's Smart Grid Industry Consultant [4].

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