UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
What does the future of PV generation in Australia look like? - Risks and Challenges
Shukla Poddar - UNSW SPREE

Shukla Poddar, at UNSW SPREE, 30 August 2023

Shukla Poddar (46Min)


Shukla Poddar speaks at UNSW SPREE

Click image for HiRes


Solar photovoltaics (PV) have emerged as one of the rapidly growing renewable technologies worldwide and will play a crucial role in future decarbonization. The accelerated pace of climate change has become a critical concern with significant implications for PV systems due to its sensitivity to weather-induced variability. Variability in solar resources increases uncertainty and its intermittent nature imposes limitations on its reliability. On a daily scale, short-term weather events over a region can induce periods of no-to-minimum output during the day. Irregular cloud movements during the day cause abrupt fluctuations in PV power that lead to inaccuracies in the solar power forecast and introduce grid stability issues at higher penetration levels. On a longer timescale, estimating PV system performance and resource variability is essential for pre-feasibility site assessments, financial viability and optimal system design.

Despite large-scale PV deployment worldwide, a comprehensive analysis of the role of meteorology in PV system performance is lacking. With the increase in demand for solar electricity generation and integration in Australia, it is essential to understand the nature and magnitude of solar resource variability and intermittency at different timescales. Furthermore, over-exposure of the PV modules to outdoor conditions causes modules to degrade with time. However, the mechanisms related to future degradation and its techno-economic implications remains unclear.

This talk will focus on how climate models can be useful to understand these crucial problems to tackle intermittency and grid in-stability issues. This research helps in identifying regions in Australia where PV systems are susceptible to climate change and provides recommendations to mitigate the risks associated with future PV reliability.

Click HERE to download a PDF of the slides.
Click here to see all available video seminars.
Click here to go to the SPREE HOMEPAGE.



Brief Bio

Shukla studies the impacts of climate change on future Photovoltaic (PV) energy generation and her recent work involves predicting module degradation. She recently completed her PhD from School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, UNSW where she explored weather-induced variability in PV generation in multiple timescales and how climate change impacts future intermittency. In August 2023, she started her post-doc on ARENA funded advanced O&M modelling project. Her research will focus on understanding the implications of extreme weather events on energy generation, exploring synergy between wind and solar technology, modelling future PV module degradation rates. She is a climate enthusiast and is interested in promoting climate change awareness in the energy sector.