UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Residential tariff design to improve the technical and economic integration of distributed energy options in the electricity industry
Sharon Young - UNSW SPREE

Sharon Young, at UNSW SPREE, 4 October 2018

Sharon Young (45Min)


Sharon Young speaks at UNSW SPREE


Australia, having one of the highest penetrations of household PV in the world and rapidly increasing installations of household battery storage, is a leading example of the transition to a more decentralised electricity industry. This household-driven decentralisation of the electricity industry raises many uncertainties for the future of the wider electricity industry, some of which have been addressed in this work. The implications of household distributed generation and storage for the industry depend on patterns and levels of deployment, and how they are operated. Both of these factors hinge critically on residential electricity tariffs. Sharon’s work aims to investigate the contribution of household demand to system demand, assess the implications of different tariff design for consumers with and without distributed energy, explore how households might operate storage under different tariffs, and then estimate the commercial and economic consequences for networks and the wholesale electricity market.

Sharon’s method uses modelling of future distributed energy penetration scenarios, including tariff-driven operation of storage, and sensitivity analyses to assess the economic and commercial impacts of household PV and storage, and their associate uncertainties. The use of a large set of empirical residential interval meter data from the Smart Grid Smart City project allowed consideration of the implications of household demand diversity across several thousand households. When coupled with corresponding PV generation data and wholesale market outcomes, the effects of household distributed energy options could be scaled and tested from distribution network through to power system wide levels.

The results suggest that among PV size, storage capacity and operation strategy, it is PV system capacity that dominates the effect of household distributed energy actions on all electricity industry stakeholders. However, while a small difference in the private benefits to households was found when battery operation was driven by different tariffs, household PV exports were found to be dependent on battery operation, and the effects on the wider industry were heavily dependent on these exports. PV and storage operated under time-based tariffs delivered similar savings to households as under flat tariffs, but created a more volatile daily profile. This suggests that future tariff reform should consider the impacts on demand profiles of increasing numbers of consumers with distributed energy that responds actively to price signals.

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Brief Bio

Sharon Young is a PhD Candidate working with the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) at the University of New South Wales investigating the influence of tariffs on the impacts of decentralised energy resources on the Australian electricity industry and has recently submitted her thesis.