Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) supports incentives for households to cut power this summer

Renewable energy agency assesses incentives for households to cut power this summer, ABC News, By Melissa Brown, 8 Sept 17,  Twenty-four electricity retailers and tech companies have applied to be part of a scheme the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) says will help the country avoid looming blackouts this summer.

Under the scheme, large groups of households or business will be offered incentives, such as payments, to cut their electricity usage when the grid comes under stress.

ARENA business development manager Phil Cohn said, as an example, participating customers could be sent messages, telling them a high-stress period was expected at the next day, and asking them to switch of their air conditioner or pool pump for 30 minutes.

The agency and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) announced their Demand Response trial program in May.

Mr Cohn said ARENA was now examining proposed projects under the scheme.

“We’re going through our assessment and contracting process at the moment with the successful projects,” he said.

“We got a wide range of energy retailers come in the door, from energy retailers through to new technology start-ups that are looking to utilise things in people’s homes to control appliances and help manage energy use.”

Summer blackouts looming

Experts have warned there is a high chance of blackouts this summer, partly caused by the closure of Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria.

Mr Cohn said the successful projects would be announced in October and they would need to be up and running by December, so the energy savings could be used in summer.

He said they would be in New South Wales, where the State Government is contributing funds, and in Victoria and South Australia…….

September 8, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, efficiency

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