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Australia’s electrical grid needs to be renovated to accommodate the new renewable energy

For many years the electricity sector in Australia has depended on coal plants. As countries worldwide transition to cleaner energy to curb climate change, Australia is also picking the pace slower than the developed world.

Renewable energy sources are transforming the country’s energy and heat supply. It is a good cause since carbon emitted by coal plants, and fossil fuel has adversely affected world climate in ways that, left unchecked, could create deserts and transform the seas. Environmentalists have attributed the frequent cyclones, hurricanes, and submerging of islands to climate change.

Despite the nation’s embrace of green energy generation, the new breed of electricity has risked the existing grid meant for a coal-powered generation. Wind and solar energy production are projected to grow drastically in the next half-decade. If the administration does not reconstruct the grid to take care of downtime associated with renewable energy, it might experience energy shortages.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) plants depend on sun rays to make electricity. When the sun is not shining, such as during winter, the solar plants experience shortages. Same to onshore and offshore wind plants. When the weather is relatively calm, energy production goes down. Using connection caps based on renewable energy zones would help regulate how green power is added to the transmission lines.

Australia does not operate on a single grid. It is divided into the National Electricity Market (NEM), Western Australia, and Northern Territory transmission networks. The government plans to shut down two-thirds of the coal plants that supply power to NEM, the country’s largest operator. If sustainable plans are not made to augment the lost power with renewables, the national grid will be in-efficient.

According to media reports, the country’s transmission networks are projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.4%.In the next five years, the network will be at about 54,585 circuit kilometers (Ckm) from the current 53,398Ckm.

The administration has encouraged investors to tap into the solar PV and wind energy sectors by rebating to startups. At the state and federal levels, firms can install power plants at a reduced price. These incentives have further created a surge in green energy projects. By the end of 2025, solar and wind energy will contribute to 46% of Australia’s power needs.

The bottom line is that the surge in cleaner energy projects requires the grid system to accommodate the incoming power to avoid network congestion. It is also crucial that the government has solutions to deal with weather-dependent intermittent supply such as battery storage.

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