Australia has set an ambitious national target to integrate smart energy by 2020. Australia’s annual electricity demand grew consistently during the period 1999 to 2009 by 2.5%. Experts believe that, Smart Grid systems produce multiple utilities and benefits. The overall societal benefit of their proposed Smart Grid strategy is 2 billion dollars over 15 years. Out of which approximately 1.14 billion dollars falls to the consumer in the form of opportunities, reliability of supply and the minimisation of infrastructure cost.Ausgrid is a state owned electricity infrastructure company in Australia. It is investing 263 million dollars, while the key consortium partners are investing up to 60 million dollars for the smart energy initiative.
Australia – Smart Energy and M2M Market report available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/australia-smart-energy-and-m2m-market-report.html .
By making the electricity grid ‘intelligent’ and adding telecoms to it, the power will eventually move away from the electricity companies and be directed towards the customers, who will be able to control their energy consumption through sensors, M2M devices, and the internet of things (IoT). Europe and North America are rated as the most advanced adopters of smart grid and smart metering technology, but the market is expected to shift increasingly towards Asia and the developing world.
‘Smart’ means communication, and since many countries are currently addressing their broadband networks it would be a clever move to roll out fast broadband infrastructure in combination with smart grids and, wherever applicable, other smart infrastructure. In that way, energy efficiency measures can be implemented throughout society and throughout the economy (buildings, transport, cities) with a minimum of extra infrastructure, as a trans-sector approach is based on sharing the infrastructure.
Unfortunately, one of the major obstacles to smart grid uptake continues to be the lack of good government policies. With all the knowledge we now have, it would almost amount to a criminal offence if this generation were to allow vested interests to prevent us from developing trans-sector policies and holistic initiatives to address energy and environmental concerns. We need to break down those silos and force cooperation between the sectors wherever possible. Significant progress has been made within the industry in Australia in relation to the deployment of smart technologies that, over time, will create a smart national grid.
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The Smart Grid, Smart City (SGSC) project, which ran from 2010 to 2013 in Newcastle and Sydney CBD areas, was funded by a $100 million injection from the federal government and around $390 million ‘in kind’ or otherwise from the project’s other contributors, which included entities such as Ausgrid, Energy Australia, IBM Australia, the CSIRO and several local councils.
The project was launched in 2010 and is perhaps the most comprehensive smart grid demonstration project undertaken anywhere in the world. The report, published in mid-2014, presents three very detailed smart grid scenarios towards the year 2034. It trialled a range of in-grid and consumer-based smart technologies with electricity suppliers for 17,000 households in order to determine whether there was an economic benefit attached to deploying the technologies across Australia.
The overarching outcome of the project is that under a medium scenario smart grids can deliver a national net benefit of $27 billion by 2034 through the development and deployment of smart grid technologies, changing consumer behaviour, energy market reform, and ‘cost reflective’ electricity pricing such as dynamic tariffs.
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