ACT Govt Integrated Energy Plan

18 September, 2023

The ACT Government achieved transition of the Territory’s electricity supply to 100 per cent renewables in 2020 was a first for Australian states and territories. The nation’s capital is now focused on decarbonising the transport sector, which currently makes up over 60 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, and removing fossil fuel gas, which is predominantly used to heat buildings.

The Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program (BSGIP) recently provided a submission to the ACT Government’s Integrated Energy Plan Position Paper, which outlines how the Territory will transition its energy systems over the coming decades. BSGIP is part of the ACT Government’s efforts identifying and tackling the energy transition, deploying our socio-techno-economic analysis and modelling capabilities in support of planning and efforts towards reaching net zero emissions through economy-wide decarbonisation.

BSGIP’s submission recognises the increasingly decentralised nature of the energy landscape with consumer energy resources such as solar panels, home batteries, and electric vehicles playing an increasing role in the energy transition.

BSGIP recommendations included:

  • Incorporating grid integration capabilities as a headline principle in the Plan. Grid integration refers to control, optimisation, coordination, interoperability and orchestration techniques that are needed to bring disparate devices together to deliver energy reliability, security and resilience.
  • Bolstering efforts to increase energy efficiency. Reducing or eliminating avoidable energy use streamlines the scale of investment – monetary and in embodied emissions – required for the energy transition.
  • Electrifying Canberra’s transport will have a significant impact on electricity demand and grid stability, and these impacts must be carefully modelled and anticipated. The ACT’s Zero Emissions Vehicles Strategy provides an excellent framework for electrifying passenger transport, and we welcome the strategy’s focus on encouraging greater community uptake of public transport and more walking and cycling infrastructure to support active travel options.
  • Electrification of ACT buildings will place additional load on the electrical network. Producing, storing and consuming energy locally is more efficient, can offset the need for infrastructure upgrades, and contributes to supporting the increased penetration of variable renewable energy generation into our electricity grid. Robust, multidisciplinary research and modelling of complex electrification and grid integration, such as in multi-dwelling and apartment complexes can underpin future development in the ACT and beyond, while also ensuring it is economically achievable and socially equitable.

Finally, our submission highlighted the need to ensure people remain at the heart of the plan. The submission advocates for early and close community consultation and co-design when developing decarbonising strategies. Our research shows that people want to see their values reflected in re/design and implementation processes, and are comfortable leaving details to experts. We need to be very clear about how we operate assets for the benefit of householders and undertake detailed work on supporting households on lower incomes and renters.

Read BSGIP’s full submission.

Find out more about the ACT Government’s Integrated Energy Plan

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