Australia kicks coal to the curb looks towards a smart grid future

1. Problem: Energy & GHG Emissions

– Integrated too much grid-tied solar PV and wind power to the grid to power southern Australia will result in huge fluctuation in voltage and power supply for customers.

– This technology reduces the need for carbon intensive power generation by fossil fuels

– One challenge with integrating too much of this type of technology to quickly will be improving the consistency of a stable power supply.  To resolve the inconsistency I would recommend designing an integration project using a combination of smart grid monitors, micro-grid and storage technology.

3. The key stakeholders would be economic development, public works department, utilities and renewable energy developers.

4. The first three steps in deploying this technology are to:
1. Create a subcommittee of stakeholders to establish a process for evaluation and integration schedule
2. Complete a feasibility study for the City and power grid
3. Complete a cost-benefit analysis and present to the City council and appropriations committee for approval.

My thoughts on this article: After a long standing relationship with coal, southern Australian is shutting down its coal fired power plants. Jeff Dimery, CEO of the power company giant, Alinta originally had forecast that the decommissioning the two coal plants would be a process that extended through 2030. Thanks to economic pressures like the high cost of carbon and cost of operations/maintenance of the archaic generating plants, the closures were expedited.  The power company also credited the uptake in residential solar and commercial wind power generation as contributors to its very demise.  Ok we all know that coal is more reliable for generating power albeit the most carbon and GHG intensive fuel, but it created a stable for power economy for a decades.  Since Australia fast tracked its energy evolution it has joined many other nations, in addressing serious storage & voltage issues as the power industry shifts to a brave, new green energy world. So while there may be the rare occasion when these dirty plants boot up to address demands extreme weather events, for the most part, coal power plants have officially made the endangered species list.

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