The AEMO has caused a media frenzy this week by announcing a demand-response trial that could kick-start the move to a smarter energy market.
AEMO CEO Audrey Zibelman, who championed demand response in reforming New York’s Energy Vision program, announced the trial this week, saying:
“If we can reduce the amount of demand, that has the same benefit as the grid, and is a lot less expensive than building a new power plant that is only used for a few hours a year.”
The basic concept is that you cut back your usage at high demand times by using solar or battery storage, reducing usage, or implementing ‘load shifting’ behaviour such as pre-cooling your home in summer before the peak period. This is designed to reduce and ultimately eliminate the requirement for peaking power plants, such as AGL’s massive industrial gas-fired power plant proposed for picturesque rural Dalton. This in turn removes the insanely high spot wholesale power prices seen last summer, and puts downwards pressure on power prices.
Energy industry helps test demand response – The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP Minister for the Environment and Energy Press release