100% renewable energy grid to provide robust supply of electricity

Another Australian study has reaffirmed that shifting the NEM to a 100 per cent renewable energy grid would provide a “robust, reliable and stable” supply of clean electricity.

The discussion paper, released on Friday by not-for-profit group the Alternative Technology Association, found that a fully renewable electricity grid would provide long-term economic and social benefits for Australia, while also playing an important part in its commitments to fight climate change.

The publication of the paper coincides with Friday’s meeting of COAG, to discuss the preliminary report of the Finkel Review into the security and stability of the national electricity market.

The ATA report, 100% Renewable Grid – Feasible?, reviewed evidence from recent developments in Australia and overseas, as well as previous studies including those by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

“We found all experts agree that a 100% renewable grid will be reliable and stable, as long as it uses an appropriate mix of renewable generation sources, energy storage and upgraded infrastructure,” said Andrew Reddaway, the paper’s author and ATA energy analyst.

During periods of calm, cloudy weather electricity could be sourced from sunny or windy parts of the country and supplemented with energy stores such as hydroelectric dams, molten salt heat storage, batteries, renewable gas and stockpiles of pelletised woody waste, the report found.

“This grid would be robust, with smarter renewable generators and batteries automatically injecting extra electricity when required for grid stability,” Reddaway said.

“Similarly, smart appliances would detect disturbances in the grid and independently adjust their power level to compensate.”

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