Sustainability Victoria has just released the DANCE model recently developed by Institute researchers. The Dynamic Avoidable Network Cost Evaluation model consists of time series maps that highlight value hotspots in both time and space where decentralized energy (DE) resources could potentially be applied most cost-effectively by deferring network investment.
Earlier ISF research, conducted as part of the CSIRO Intelligent Grid national research collaboration, suggests that if applied strategically, decentralized energy (which includes energy efficiency, peak load management and distributed generation) can be a lower carbon, lower cost alternative to traditional investment in centralized energy generation and large electricity network infrastructure. Sustainability Victoria was interested in this research and in particular how it could be applied to the local Victorian context of forecast peak demand growth, declining capacity utilisation of network infrastructure and a strong reliance on centralized coal fired power generation.
The research conducted for Sustainability Victoria aims to help build the base of knowledge and tools to facilitate greater deployment of DE options. The research included an assessment of the forecast electricity demand trends over the coming decade, and the electricity network infrastructure investment proposed to address these conditions over the coming five year period. This investment was then analysed to identify potentially avoidable network costs driven by growth in peak demand, which could potentially be more efficiently addressed through non-network options such as DE.
The maps developed for the project are intended to make detailed network data more useful to those unfamiliar with the details of network planning. Displaying this data on maps will help networks and DE service providers who need to know or communicate the geographical areas in which the greatest benefit from DE products and services can be obtained. The maps will also help policy makers and regulators who wish to understand the dynamics of these benefits and how DE can contribute to beneficial economic and environmental outcomes.
The analysis also shows the potential of DE to reduce Victoria’s total costs of energy supply and greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and how these cost savings can be passed on to customers.The report and maps are available from the ISF web site.
Langham, E., Dunstan, C., Cooper, C., Moore, D., Mohr, S. and Ison, N. 2011, Decentralised Energy Costs and Opportunities for Victoria, [prepared for Sustainability Victoria], Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, November 2011. View/download report