The ongoing uptake of Distributed Energy (DE) options such as solar PV, solar water heaters and energy efficiency measures are reducing electricity use and electricity utility revenues. There is significant potential for further uptake of these technologies, which will decrease utility revenues further. The responses by utilities and governments to date have essentially attempted to maintain the status quo, however, ‘disruptive technologies’ such as PV and EE will likely drive the need for more fundamental changes.
This project discusses these issues for residential customers and proposes a regulatory framework that could form the basis of a DE market that would optimise DE’s contribution to least-cost energy services and enable the existing electricity industry to transition to the ‘new normal’.
The project involved focus groups and surveys of the general public, interviews with the electricity industry, government agencies and regulators, with all findings presented at a public workshop and through a number of reports.
ARENA and the University of Arizona have funded the collaborative research, with reports published by the CSIRO, the University of Arizona and the APVA.