ISSUE 7 · September 2019 · www.energymagazine.com.au
The nuclear debate: SHOULD WE DEVELOP THIS ENERGY SOURCE?
Can energy be free in Australia? Accelerating innovation:
UNITING STARTUP AGILITY WITH CORPORATE EXPERTISE
AUSTRALIA’S ENERGY OUTLOOK:
POWERING THE NEXT 40 YEARS
ISSUE 7—SEPTEMBER 2019 WELCOME
ISSUE 7 · September 2019 · www.energymagazine.com.au
The nuclear debate: SHOULD WE DEVELOP THIS ENERGY SOURCE?
Can energy be free in Australia? Accelerating innovation:
UNITING STARTUP AGILITY WITH CORPORATE EXPERTISE
AUSTRALIA’S ENERGY OUTLOOK:
POWERING THE NEXT 40 YEARS
Cover image is of CSIRO’s solar thermal collector field, located at the Energy Centre in Newcastle.
5,285 This publication has been independently audited under the AMAA’s CAB Total Distribution Audit. Audit Period: 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
Monkey Media Enterprises ABN: 36 426 734 954 204/23–25 Gipps St Collingwood VIC 3066 P: (03) 9988 4950 F: (03) 8456 6720 monkeymedia.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org energymagazine.com.au email@example.com ISSN: 2209-0541
Editor Laura Harvey Assistant Editor India Murphy Senior Designer Alejandro Molano Designers Jacqueline Buckmaster Danielle Harris Business Development Manager Rima Munafo Publisher Chris Bland Operations Manager Kirsty Hutton
s I flicked through the pages of this issue of Energy, just before we were about to send it to print, it struck me that there was a clear theme running through this issue – many of our articles and pages have been dedicated to the successes the industry has had in recent years, and we have a range of content that looks forward to what the future of the industry might look like. In reflective mode, we’ve taken a look at some of Australia’s major wind farm projects, and the contributions they’ve been making to the National Electricity Market in recent years; as well as the work of the Energy Efficiency Council, which recently celebrated ten years of operation. And looking forward, we’ve taken a closer look at the impact flow batteries will have on the energy industry in Australia; and we caught up with CSIRO to discuss their vision for the industry over the next 40 years. We’ve considered whether the time is right for a new approach to gas markets in Australia; and we’ve cast our minds to the oftendebated question of whether Australia should
establish a nuclear industry. We’ve gained insight into the projects energy innovators and start-up businesses are working on; and we spoke to industry visionary Dean Spaccavento, who among other things, believes that one day energy can be free in Australia. And so this issue of the magazine, like many areas of life, has recognised that to effectively move forward as an industry, we need to acknowledge, understand, and grow from the work that has already been done in the past. As we release this issue of Energy out into the world, the team and I are also preparing for another busy few months of travelling around the country for various events. Some of the events I’ll be attending over the next few months include Power+Utilities, Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure, All-Energy and Disaster Management. As always, I look forward to meeting our readers and debating the hot topics in the industry while at these events. Laura Harvey Editor
We’re keen to hear your thoughts and feedback on this issue of Energy. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to give us a call on (03) 9988 4950. September 2019 ISSUE 7
CONTENTS NEWS 6
Victoria’s largest solar farm powers Melbourne’s trams
10 Loy Yang power station outage to extend for
Waste to energy plant capable of powering 2000 homes
11 Is your organisation prepared to handle a
Canberra to score hydrogen refuelling station
Compressed air energy storage facility an Australian first
Australia is the world’s second largest LNG exporter 8
Microgrid-powered gold mine an Australian first
EACH ISSUE 1
80 FEATURES SCHEDULE 80 ADVERTISERS’ INDEX
10 Major explosion at Mortlake Power Station
14 Accelerating energy innovation: uniting startup agility with corporate expertise
22 Looking back while moving forwards: ten years of the Energy Efficiency Council
32 Soaring wind industry set to slash electricity prices
18 Batteries going with the flow 20 The changing face of construction: Magdalena Klimkowska
September 2019 ISSUE 7
26 Australia’s National Energy Outlook – powering the next 40 years 30 Rethinking energy in hospitals
36 The biggest fans of wind energy 40 Making construction safety a priority
42 DISTRIBUTED GENERATION 42 "Energy can be free in Australia": the future for the industry according to Dean Spaccavento
48 RENEWABLES 46 Pinpointing development opportunities for residential solar 48 Cutting a path towards a renewable future
56 ASSET INSPECTION AND DRONES/UAVS 52 Looking to the skies: using drone technology for asset management 56 AI and machine learning are the future for drone-based asset inspections
50 More gas, less cost: bringing gas to market quickly while reducing project costs
58 Australia’s leading utility asset management professionals to gather in Sydney
70 A recognised industry voice for microgrids
76 Energy powers ethical investment debate
78 Advancing Australia's transition to a clean energy future
60 Strategies for the future resilience of our assets
73 Should Australia develop a nuclear energy industry?
ENERGY NETWORKS 62 An unprecedented blackout – or was it?
GAS PIPELINES 64 Strength, integrity and resilience – building the Atlas Gas Pipeline 67 A new approach is needed in gas markets
September 2019 ISSUE 7
Chief Economist, CSIRO Energy
Paul Graham is Chief Economist at CSIRO Energy. In this role, he leads major energy projects and provides advice relevant to the energy sector within global and national economic contexts. He also plays a role in setting the strategic direction for CSIRO’s economic research in energy. Mr Graham has now been with CSIRO for 15 years. Prior to this, he was a senior research officer at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has worked with a large range of leading Australian energy, resource and transport companies, major NGOs and key federal and state government departments. He has also been a key contributor to each of the modelling teams assembled for the various state and federal carbon policy analyses.
Chairman, International Microgrid Association
Terry Mohn is a well-known smart grid and microgrid industry expert with over 20 years of experience in the energy industry. He is currently the Chairman of International Microgrid Association. He was previously General Manager, Advanced Microgrid Developments at Horizon Power, CEO of General Microgrids, VP of Innovation for BAE Systems’ energy business and Chief Technology Strategist for the Sempra Energy utilities. He served two terms as Vice Chairman of the GridWise Alliance and served in many government advisory capacities. He is also served as United Nations Foundation Microgrid Work Group Chairman.
CEO, Energy Efficiency Council
Luke Menzel provides strategic leadership for the Energy Efficiency Council, guiding the Council’s initiatives to build the market for energy efficiency, cogeneration and demand management in Australia. In his time at the EEC, Mr Menzel has specialised in developing projects and policies that facilitate the steady increase of capacity in the energy efficiency sector. Most recently, Mr Menzel led the development and launched a new Australian certification scheme for the professionals that manage complex energy efficiency retrofits. Mr Menzel has a background in management and his postgraduate research in energy policy focused on financing options for energy efficiency investments.
Communications Adviser, Australian Energy Council
Justine Lovell has been Communications Adviser with the Australian Energy Council since 2017 and is involved in researching and producing papers on energy topics. She is also involved in project management and the development of a range of national communications activities for the energy sector.
September 2019 ISSUE 7
Chief Executive Officer, Energy Users Association of Australia
Andrew Richards has over 30 years of energy industry and infrastructure development experience, having held a variety of senior management roles in the areas of sales and marketing, public and stakeholder relations, media and communication, strategic planning, policy development, stakeholder engagement and political advocacy. For the last three years he has been Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA). Under his leadership the EUAA has positioned itself as a highly respected thought leader and advisor to energy industry players, regulators and governments and is recognized by these stakeholders as a strong advocate for energy users. Mr Richards continues to play a key role in a range of forums including the AEMO Expert Panel, the Federal Government Energy Industry Roundtable, the AER Value of Customer Reliability Consultative Committee and the recently formed National Hydrogen Strategy Taskforce Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Mr Richards is also deeply involved in ongoing engagement on behalf of energy users with the ACCC, EMC, ESB, COAG Energy Council, AER and via numerous industry related customer reference groups.
Romilly Madew AO
Chief Executive, Infrastructure Australia
Romilly Madew AO is the Chief Executive of Infrastructure Australia. Recently awarded an Order of Australia in acknowledgment of her contribution to Australia’s sustainable building movement, Ms Madew is recognised around the world as a leader and advocate for change in the property and construction sector. She led the Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years, representing over 650 companies with a collective annual turnover of $40 billion, and presided over the Green Star rating system, which has seen more than 2250 projects certified across the country. Ms Madew holds Board positions with Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Chief Executive Women, and has sat on numerous ministerial panels including the Cities Reference Group, National Urban Policy Forum and the China/ Australia Services Sector Forum. Her achievements have previously been recognised with national and international awards, including the 2015 International Leadership Award from the US Green Building Council and the 2017 World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award. An honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia, Ms Madew has been named one of the ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and is a National and NSW winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Award.
Co-Founder, Reposit Power
Dean Spaccavento fell in love with the national energy market during his technology career in the finance sector, and since then he hasn’t looked back. In 2014, he and his co-founder developed the Reposit smart controller, which enables energy companies and homeowners to collaboratively solve grid issues for mutual benefit and the greater good of our planet. Since first trading in mid-2015, the Canberra based Reposit team has won Engineers Australia’s highest award for its Canberra Virtual Power Plant (VPP); sold thousands of home energy management systems to Australians with renewable energy; and tripled its revenue year on year. Reposit now operates 12 VPPs in Australia, including the largest VPP in NSW with Ausgrid involving nearly 300 homes across the state. Undoubtedly proud to be a driving force of change in the energy market, Mr Spaccavento is equally proud to have built an incredibly smart, strong and loyal team. The Canberra based team of 40, whilst growing quickly, is grounded by long standing colleagues who are equal parts passionate and talented.
September 2019 ISSUE 7
VICTORIA’S LARGEST SOLAR FARM
POWERS MELBOURNE’S TRAMS
he largest solar farm in Victoria, Neoen’s 128MW Numurkah Solar Farm, is now fully operational and is powering Melbourne’s tram network. The Numurkah Solar Farm is one of two solar farms supplying 100 per cent renewable energy to offset Melbourne’s entire tram network. The facility will generate approximately 255,000MWh of clean, renewable electricity into the national power grid each year, and received funding under the Victorian Government’s Solar Trams Initiative. The Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative and Solar Trams Initiative have brought forward construction of around 350MW of new solar and wind capacity – leveraging around $720 million in capital expenditure and creating 755 construction jobs and 33 ongoing jobs, all in regional Victoria. With the initial support secured from the Government, Neoen has secured a 15-year deal with SIMEC ZEN to help power the Laverton Steelworks, taking the initial project size from 34MW to 128MW DC/100MW AC. The emissions reduction delivered by this solar farm will be the equivalent of taking 75,000 cars off the road or planting 390,000 trees.
The Labor Government is increasing Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030. It is expected that achieving the VRET 2025 target of 40 per cent alone will drive around $7.2 billion of investment and create more than 10,000 jobs. Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “This is Victoria’s largest solar farm – we’re proud to have supported a project that has delivered hundreds of jobs in regional Victoria. “The Numurkah Solar Farm will play an important role in supporting the transformation of our energy system towards clean, renewable energy and reaching our renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.” Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne, said, “Victoria’s largest solar farm is now ready to power the world’s biggest tram network – helping reduce greenhouse emissions and boost jobs in regional Victoria.” Neoen Australia Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said, “The Numurkah Solar Farm is a significant milestone for Neoen, one that could not have been achieved without the support of the Victorian Government. “As the biggest solar farm in Victoria, it will deliver enormous benefit as it powers transport, industry and more.”
WASTE TO ENERGY PLANT CAPABLE OF
POWERING 2000 HOMES
arra Valley Water’s “ReWaste” energy plant has transformed more than 45,000 tonnes of food waste into 10,000MWh of clean energy, capable of powering 2000 homes, in the two years since it commenced operations. ReWaste is Victoria’s first waste to energy facility and powers itself and the adjacent Aurora sewage treatment plant, while excess energy is exported to the grid. The plant has been regarded as thriving proof that waste to energy technology is the next big thing in tackling climate change, and similar technology could be used to manage different types of waste and landfill in the future as Melbourne’s population continues to grow. Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said that the premise behind the plant is to help transition Yarra Valley Water towards generating 100 per cent of its own renewable energy by 2025, as well as helping maintain affordable bills for its customers.
September 2019 ISSUE 7
“The future security of water in Melbourne relies on our response to climate change now, that’s why we have a strong commitment to embracing renewables and reducing our carbon footprint. “The electricity generated by the plant has saved us $1 million on energy, allowing us to invest in other sustainable projects and to maintain affordable customer bills, at a time when the cost of living is a very real struggle for some people,” Mr McCafferty said. Yarra Valley Water has partnered with over 20 businesses which provide spoiled food waste to power the plant, ranging from fruit and vegetables, dehydrated egg waste, grease trap waste and shopping centre and restaurant food waste. ReWaste is now operating at near full capacity, processing on average 2700 tonnes of organic waste per month. One of the facility’s biggest suppliers is the Melbourne Market Authority, which has supplied over 1460 tonnes of food waste in the last twelve months. With demand from businesses to contribute waste at an all-time high,
Yarra Valley Water said ReWaste is an example of how an organisation can successfully partner with businesses to tackle climate change. “Yarra Valley Water strategically incentivised businesses financially and environmentally to become partners, and that the waste to energy model could be moulded to offer a solution to the way waste and landfill is managed in Melbourne,” Mr McCafferty said. “We deliberately designed the project to be more cost-effective for businesses than taking their waste to landfill. “Melbourne is growing rapidly, and it is inevitable that we are going to have to reassess the way we manage landfill. The same waste to energy technology we’ve used can be harnessed to create clean energy from different types of waste which is really exciting. “We launched the facility hoping that businesses would get behind it and they have, to the point where we’re having trouble keeping up with demand. It shows that businesses want to get behind sustainability if it’s fit-for-purpose and accessible.”
CANBERRA TO SCORE HYDROGEN REFUELLING STATION
anberra will be the first Australian city to trial a publicly available hydrogen vehicle refuelling station. The clean-energy facility will be built in Mildura Street, Fyshwick, by ActewAGL with the support of French renewable energy generator Neoen. During the announcement of the hydrogen project, the ACT Government revealed it will add 20 new Hyundai hydrogen vehicles, funded by Neoen, to its fleet. The ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, said “This is a momentous step towards the ACT’s transition to 100 per cent renewable energy and for the next generation of zero-emission transport. “The ACT is a proud world leader in climate action. We’re on track to deliver 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020, and to achieve zero net emissions by 2045. “However, tackling climate change means tackling transport pollution, and zero-emission vehicle technology is a key part of this. By 2020 the ACT will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, meaning our biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions – at over 60 per cent – will come from transport. “Being at the forefront of a potentially significant new industry for Australia also strengthens our position as a leader in energy innovation and helps us as we work towards our ambitious goal of zero net emissions by 2045,” Mr Rattenbury said. ActewAGL CEO, John Knox, said he was delighted that ActewAGL had been chosen by Neoen to build and operate this landmark project just a few minutes from Canberra’s CBD. “This is an incredible opportunity to continue our exploration of the role hydrogen can play as an energy source of the future.
“We look forward to welcoming the ACT Government as the first customer of the hydrogen refuelling station, and to examining how we might potentially use hydrogen more broadly as a clean-energy choice for the ACT,” Mr Knox said. Deputy CEO of Neoen Australia, Romain Desrousseaux, said “Neoen is proud to announce our partnership with ActewAGL to deliver Australia’s first publicly available hydrogen refuelling station in Canberra. “Neoen has had a long and successful partnership with the ACT Government and will continue to support the Territory’s 100 per cent renewable energy target. This project also represents an important part of Neoen’s local investment commitment to the Territory as part of our Hornsdale Wind Farm project. “As a long-term investor in Australia’s renewable energy future, we believe hydrogen represents an exciting opportunity to decarbonise many other sectors of the economy—not only in Australia, but potentially overseas in the future through the export of renewable hydrogen.” The station is due to be completed in December 2019.
COMPRESSED AIR ENERGY STORAGE FACILITY AN AUSTRALIAN FIRST
anadian company, Hydrostor, has received development approval for a $30 million advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) facility in South Australia. The A-CAES facility, to be located at Angas Zinc Mine near Strathalbyn, is the first of its kind in Australia. The facility will use excess electricity from wind and solar to run a compressor and produce heated, compressed air that can be stored underground. The compressed air is released to drive a generator and produce electricity when demand in the electricity grid is high. Hydrostor will re-purpose the former Angas Zinc Mine at Strathalbyn into the 5MW/10MWh facility by transforming the existing mine into an air-storage cavern 240m below ground using their innovative design to achieve emissions free energy storage. The $30 million project is supported by $3 million in funding through the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund and $6 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). South Australian Energy and Mining Minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said that Hydrostor’s facility was further evidence the Marshall Government’s energy policies were
helping deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable electricity to South Australians. “This is another step in the transition of South Australia’s energy system by the integration of renewable energy into the grid to deliver cheaper, more reliable and cleaner energy. “A-CAES is a new energy storage technology for Australia that provides synchronous inertia, load shifting and frequency regulation to support grid security and reliability.” South Australia Trade Tourism and Investment Minister, David Ridgway, welcomed the benefits Hydrostor’s investment will deliver to the state and the local community. “Hydrostor is the latest in a line of high profile, international renewables companies to set up operations in this state. “With 47 per cent of South Australia’s energy production now coming from renewable sources our state is without doubt a major global player, and this is reflected in the $7 billion worth of investment we’ve attracted into the local industry.” Member for Heysen, Josh Teague, said the conversion of this brownfield site near Strathalbyn into an emission-free clean energy project would stimulate local economic activity, delivering jobs and
investment in the local community. “The Hills community is very supportive of the Marshall Government’s efforts to decarbonise South Australia’s electricity network whilst improving the reliability and affordability of our power system.” Hydrostor CEO, Curtis VanWalleghem, said the State Government approval enabled them to now proceed into the construction phase of the Angas project. “We’re excited to demonstrate the significant benefits of adding our emissionfree storage solution, creating jobs and helping South Australia develop a stronger electricity grid at lower cost to consumers.” Hydrostor Australia’s Managing Director, Greg Allen, said the technology works by using electricity from the grid to produce compressed air, which is stored in a purpose-built underground cavern kept at constant pressure using hydrostatic head from a water column. “During charging, heat from the compressed air is collected and stored before the cooled air displaces water out of the cavern up to a water reservoir on the surface. “To discharge, water flows back into the cavern forcing air to the surface under pressure where it is heated with the stored thermal energy and drives a turbine to generate electricity.”
September 2019 ISSUE 7
AUSTRALIA IS THE WORLD’S
SECOND LARGEST LNG EXPORTER
new EnergyQuest report has found that Australia is currently the world’s second largest LNG exporter, with a total of 75.1 million tonnes (Mt) of LNG exported in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Total LNG export revenue in FY 2019 is estimated to be $50.5 billion. LNG is now Australia’s third largest export by value after iron ore and coal, 1111 cargoes and 21.2 per cent higher than the 61.7Mt exported in FY 2018. Qatar was the world’s largest exporter of LNG with a capacity of 77Mtpa. Australian
production in FY 2020 is likely to pass Qatar, when EnergyQuest expects production to be around 80Mt, boosted by a full year of production from Ichthys and Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project which came online in June. Most of the growth in production in FY 2019 occurred from projects in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, notably INPEX’s Ichthys project and Chevron’s Wheatstone project. Queensland exports increased slightly, from 20.5Mt in FY 2018 to 21.8Mt in FY 2019. The Queensland LNG projects produced an estimated 43PJ in excess of export demand.
Japan continued to be the largest buyer of Australian LNG in FY 2019, accounting for 41 per cent of exports. However, China is now close behind, with 37 per cent of exports. South Korea was the third largest market with ten per cent of exports. Japan is the biggest market for west coast exports but China is the biggest market for Queensland exports, accounting for 72 per cent of Curtis Island shipments in FY 2019. Australia continues to be the largest LNG supplier to Japan and China and the second- largest to South Korea.
MICROGRID-POWERED GOLD MINE AN
RENA, on behalf of the Australian Government, will provide $13.5 million in funding for what will be the first Australian gold mine to be powered by a wind, solar, battery and gas microgrid. Agnew Gold Mining Company, part of the Gold Fields Group (Gold Fields), will develop a high penetration renewable microgrid at its Agnew Gold Mine in the northern Goldfields, Western Australia. The renewable hybrid microgrid will consist of five wind turbines delivering an 18MW wind farm, a 10,000 panel 4MW solar farm, and a 13MW/4MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), with security and reliability of the microgrid underpinned by a 16MW gas engine power station. This will be the first time wind generation has been part of a large hybrid microgrid in the mining sector in Australia. The renewable energy microgrid is expected to provide 55 to 60 per cent of the energy requirements of the gold mine, with the potential to meet almost all energy requirements at certain times. Gold Fields will also adopt innovative operational practices such as dynamic load shedding, renewable resource forecasting and IPP-controlled load management to maximise renewable energy use while maintaining system security. Distributed energy producer EDL will design, construct, own and operate the microgrid to power the Agnew Gold Mine in two stages, under a ten-year agreement with Gold Fields. The first stage involving a new off-grid power station incorporating gas, diesel generation and solar is due to be completed in late 2019. The second stage including the wind, battery and microgrid system recently started construction and will be completed in 2020. ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said this project marked a growing shift in thinking around powering mine sites.
September 2019 ISSUE 7
“The project Gold Fields is undertaking will provide a blueprint for other companies to deploy similar off-grid energy solutions and demonstrate a pathway for commercialisation, helping to decarbonise the mining and resources sector. “ARENA is continuing to help build a business case for renewables in mining which has been underlined by other successful projects such as Rio Tinto’s Weipa project and Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa Solar Project, reducing their fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent. “We’re excited to see more mining companies taking up renewable options and Gold Fields’ project comprising solar, wind and battery is helping to position into a more reliable and sustainable energy supply to call upon for the life of the mine.” Gold Fields Australia Executive Vice-President, Stuart Mathews, said, “The Agnew hybrid microgrid project reflects the company’s strategic objective to strengthen energy security, optimise energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint through innovation and the adoption of new technologies. The ARENA contribution significantly supports and encourages our efforts.” EDL CEO, James Harman, said the company had seen increasing momentum towards hybrid energy solutions, particularly in remote off-grid locations. “EDL is pleased to be an active contributor to Australia’s transition to sustainable energy. “Our strong base of knowledge and experience from our successful hybrid renewable projects will enable us to provide Agnew Gold Mine with greater than 50 per cent renewable energy over the long term, without compromising power quality or reliability.”
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LOY YANG POWER STATION OUTAGE
TO EXTEND FOR MONTHS
GL Energy’s Loy Yang A power station experienced an outage which is now expected to extend over seven months due to consequential damage. Unit 2 of the power station has been out of service since 18 May 2019 following an electrical short internal to the generator.
Consequently, the stator and rotor components were then damaged. AGL’s initial expectation was that it would take between two to four months to return the unit to service, pending results of internal generator inspections. Following rotor removal and cleaning, further technical assessments revealed a more extensive level of damage than was
previously assessed, the full impact of which has now been determined. AGL now expects it may take until December 2019 to return the unit to service and ensure its ongoing reliability. This duration of repair reflects the unique original technical design specifications of the unit and the extent of damage.
A EXPLOSION MAJOR
AT MORTLAKE POWER STATION
September 2019 ISSUE 7
n explosion at the gas-fired Mortlake Power Station in Victoria has caused significant damage to a generator, taking the plant out of operation. The explosion was caused by an electrical fault and damaged one of its two generating units at around 6am on 8 July. Origin Energy, the operators of the plant, confirmed the accident has halved the station’s capacity. The Country Fire Authority attended the site and returned operational control to Origin within three hours. There were no casualties nor any adverse impact on the local community. The power station continues to operate with the remaining generator available to supply the grid. Origin has informed the Australian Energy Market Operator that, following an initial assessment of the impacted unit, it expects to bring that unit back online by 20 December 2019. Origin Energy Executive General Manager, Energy Supply and Operations, Greg Jarvis, said, “Origin will work with the market operator and our suppliers with the aim of making the damaged unit available ahead of the summer peak and to reduce the impact on customers.”
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e are living in an age where the threat of disaster is constantly imminent, and owners and managers of critical infrastructure – such as the assets that make up our national electricity grid – need to be well prepared for the range of disaster events that could potentially affect them. Disaster can take many shapes or forms. It could be a natural disaster, such as bushfire, flood, drought, or extreme heat. Or it could take the form of a terrorist attack, whether that be on your physical assets, or a cyber terrorism attack on your systems. Or it could be something more obscure, like the threat of an industrial accident, an economic crisis, a resource crisis, or even a disease outbreak. It could happen six months from now, it could happen five years from now, or it could happen tomorrow. Whenever it happens, or whatever form it takes, if you’re involved in the worlds of infrastructure, utilities or local government, you need to be thinking about how your organisation will prepare for, survive, and then thrive in the face of disaster. One of the best ways for major asset owners to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest industry thinking when it comes to surviving crisis situations is at Disaster Management 2019, taking place from 21-22 November 2019 at the Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne. Brought to you by Energy, Infrastructure and Utility magazines, Disaster Management 2019 will help your organisation ensure it is prepared for the range of disaster events that can strike critical asset owners at any time. Why attend? If you work in the area of critical services, such as energy utilities or infrastructure, and you’ve ever asked yourself, “Is our organisation really prepared to deal with the effects of a disaster event?”, then you need to attend this event.
The fact of the matter is, in the world of critical infrastructure, you might not be able to stop the worst from happening, but you can reduce the impact of a crisis by being prepared and ready to act. At Disaster Management 2019, you will: »» Explore the breadth of disaster events that could strike the infrastructure sector »» Prepare for the potential impacts these crises could have on your organisation »» Delve into the disaster response process, and highlight the critical steps you need to take to effectively manage a disaster event »» Develop strategies to enhance the organisational resilience of your business »» Learn how to emerge from a disaster as a stronger organisation than before. We will do this through an expert speaker line-up, which will feature experts from within the world of disaster management; as well as representatives from infrastructure organisations that have survived their own disaster events and emerged as stronger, more capable businesses. Speakers at the event include Paul Jordon, Executive General Manager, Distribution at Energy Queensland, who will be discussing the challenge facing Energy Queensland after the devastating Townsville floods in February, and his insights into surviving and thriving after this event; as well as Simon Dunstall from the Analytics and Decision Sciences Program at Data61, who will be discussing the work he does to quantify and manage the bushfire-related risks posed by powerlines. Conference highlights include multiple speed networking sessions, where delegates are guaranteed introductions to colleagues within the industry; as well as a number of expert panel sessions where representatives from different organisations will compare and contrast their experiences; providing valuable insights across the entire chain of disaster management.
The conference program will be built around three central themes, covering: Preparing Identifying and preparing for strategic risks
Surviving Real time response
Thriving Restoring services
Communication post disaster
Management and leadership in crisis
Bouncing back from disaster
Anticipating and monitoring potential risk factors
Building resilient communities
Procedures for emergency management
Finding opportunities to rebound
Enacting your crisis management plan
Knowing when a disaster event is over
Crisis simulation and planning Disaster prevention
Managing the recovery period Assessing previous disaster performance
Disaster Management 2019, aimed at helping critical service providers prepare, survive and thrive in the face of major disaster events, is taking place from 21-22 November 2019 at the Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne. Pre-sale tickets for the event, which can save you over $1000 off the standard ticket price, are currently available. For more information and to book your tickets, head to www.disaster-management.com.au/buy-tickets/
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IS YOUR ORGANISATION PREPARED TO HANDLE A
CRISIS? Disaster Management 2019 is a two-day event that will look at the impacts a range of disaster events can have on the owners of critical assets; and provide tools to help your organisation minimise the impact of a disaster, and emerge stronger than ever before.
Disaster Management 2019 www.energymagazine.com.au
September 2019 ISSUE 7
ACCELERATING ENERGY INNOVATION:
UNITING STARTUP AGILITY WITH CORPORATE EXPERTISE People’s interest in energy is no longer as simple as wanting it to heat their home and keep their business running. They can generate their own electricity, monitor how much they are using in real time and even share it with their neighbours. EnergyAustralia is tapping into the best minds from across the globe to accelerate the development of high impact innovations for the benefit of customers and the broader energy industry in Australia. Working with international accelerator partner, Startupbootcamp, EnergyAustralia has recently completed its second cohort which saw eleven startups brought to Australia to partake in the intensive program that culminates in the action-packed Demo Day attended by industry experts and investors looking for the next ‘big thing’. Global minds to solve local problems In the past two years, EnergyAustralia and Startupbootcamp have visited 28 cities and assessed over 4000 startups to consider if their ideas can contribute to the transformation occurring in Australia’s energy sector. EnergyAustralia’s Head of NextGen Innovation, Anthony Wiseman, explained why the company decided to launch this first-of-a-kind initiative for the energy sector. “We’re excited to be part of the accelerator program because it gives us a unique insight into the state of tech globally, it brings the best and brightest to Australia, and establishes an energy hub here for innovation.” Participants are selected via a global prospecting and search process undertaken between July and November. Up to 25 companies are then invited to Melbourne for two days in early December where they pitch to a group of industry experts, potential mentors and investors. Ten startups were accepted in 2018 and eleven in 2019, with a 12-week journey
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formally commencing in January. The program is already reaping benefits for many of the startups involved, with over $61.3 million capital raised so far and several companies establishing offices in Australia. Each annual program has key focus areas. The 2019 program asked for startups who could help solve problems in grid transformation, customer empowerment, data monetisation and electric mobility and robotics, among other areas. Mr Wiseman said these areas were carefully selected to meet a need in Australia’s energy sector. “We know people want greater control over parts of their life; energy is no different. But everyone is busy so we want to find the smartest technology so it’s easy to use and people love it. “We need to make energy use less carbon intensive, and we’re making changes within our business to reduce our carbon footprint. We offer our customers the ability to make their own usage carbon neutral, but there are other ideas out there which can reduce emissions from the energy sector,” Mr Wiseman said.
Richard Celm, Program Director – Startupbootcamp Melbourne, said innovation is a contact sport where ideas are shaped, tested and developed. “Corporate startup collaboration is hard work, with most startups impatient, resource poor and needing everything now. Whereas the things that have traditionally served corporates well include great planning, rigorous decision making and great systems, processes, execution. “That's why it so important to bring people together to solve tough global problems through a program like this startup accelerator. People need to fall in love with the problem, not the solution, and saying no to some opportunities so you can focus on the right problem is so important,” Mr Celm said. The startups are only limited by their own imagination and creative nous; and the innovative ideas are wide and varied: »» EnergyTech Ventures is harnessing the world of Big Data to help large businesses turn their energy consumption into actionable insights with which they can improve their
The crowd at the 2018 Demo Day.
energy productivity. For example, EnergyTech Ventures are working with the iconic Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital to collect the hospital’s data in real time and use EnergyTech Ventures’ algorithms to provide insights about what it can do to reduce energy costs and prevent the failure of key assets. Ucapture provides customers with the opportunity to save dollars at their favourite shopping outlets and do their bit for the planet. For each customer who signs up to the UCapture app and makes purchases from retail partners, UCapture funds carbon offset projects to combat climate change. UCapture also provide customers with updates on where their support is going and how many kilograms of carbon dioxide they have helped offset. WePower has created a one-stopshop technology solution that joins businesses with renewable electricity producers and enables them to contract digitally. Their unique platform helps business understand their electricity consumption patterns and then, once signed up, monitor generators as they are built and start generating electricity. In 2018 WePower raised $US40 million, making it one of the most successful Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) of the year.
Learning is a two-way street Throughout the 12-week program, participants experience a crash course in www.energymagazine.com.au
business development, receiving hands-on mentorship from over 100 industry experts. They learn and test ideas and get free office accommodation, seed funding and access to a global network of investors. EnergyAustralia alone has provided over 40 mentors with backgrounds in fields such as finance, strategy and legal, sharing their advice and experience with young entrepreneurs. A highlight of the 2019 program was an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna. The questions came thick and fast and were as simple as “How do you manage your day?” to “What’s the one piece of advice you get that you don’t take?” “Some of these entrepreneurs turn
up with great enthusiasm and ideas but they have never run a business of any size before, so we help them understand some of the basics, such as procurement or building a culture to get the best out of people each day,” Mr Wiseman said. And the learning isn’t all one way. “Startups have a greater pace of development, as well as different approaches than big companies like ours do. We have to learn from that if we are to lead the clean energy transition.”
Innovation continues to drive the clean energy transition It’s never been more important to have new ideas in the energy sector. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), forecasts that one-third of total NEM
EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna, addressing the 2019 Demo Day.
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The 2019 Startupbootcamp cohort.
generation (around 70TWh), mainly coal plants, will retire by 2040. AEMO predict that these generators will be replaced by a mix of solar (28GW), wind (10.5GW), storage (17GW and 90GWh) and flexible gas (500MW). The total investment bill to transition Australia’s generation fleet is estimated to be between $8 billion and $27 billion1. Growth in small scale solar generation is also having a significant impact on the grid, with over 20 per cent of households and business now creating their own electricity2. This has seen the electricity grid go from a one-way system – large generators supplying the whole system – to a bi-directional one with a number of distributed systems sending electricity two ways. That creates challenges for an electricity network that was largely built in 1970s and 1980s. However, it also creates
opportunities to use new technology to make the system work more efficiently and safely. EnergyAustralia is investigating or trialling a range of technologies that will likely play a role in our future energy mix. This includes two large scale batteries connected to the distribution network in Victoria, helping the company learn how best to integrate this technology with other generation sources, and seawater pumped hydro in South Australia, which is an Australian-first. EnergyAustralia is also investigating using non-recyclable household waste to power its Mt Piper power station in NSW; another Australianfirst. Startupbootcamp complements EnergyAustralia’s innovation program perfectly. “Australia is at the forefront of integrating large amounts of renewable
energy into the grid, having some of the best renewable resources in the world. It makes sense to use some of the best entrepreneurial minds to help solve the problems this creates,” Mr Wiseman said. EnergyAustralia continues to have working relationships with several of the Startupbootcamp participants as just one of the ways the company is leading and accelerating the clean energy transition for all. "Our sector is changing and we have a choice on how we respond to that. We can either sit on our hands and wait to be disrupted even further or we embrace it and work with the best entrepreneurial minds on the planet. We are rapt to be leading the Startupbootcamp program and being part of delivering a clean energy revolution for our customers."
EnergyAustralia, which owns and operates more than 5000MW of electricity generation and services around 1.7 million electricity and gas customers, is taking action to modernise Australia’s energy system in several ways, including3: »» »» »» »» »» »»
Delivering two large scale battery projects in Victoria, providing much needed power to support the grid Undertaking a demand response trial of over 9,000 customers and 50MW of load to test and learn how customers can move their usage during times of peak demand Writing offtake agreements worth almost $3 billion to underpin the development of over 800 MW of new renewable generation capacity Investing in its existing fleet to make it more efficient Investigating new generation options, such as gas and pumped hydro, to deliver affordable, reliable and cleaner to replace closing coal stations Partnering with Startupbootcamp to shake up the energy market in Australia
Australian Energy Market Operator, Integrated System Plan 2018, July 2018, p.5 Clean Energy Regulator, Media Release - ‘Australians Install Two Million Solar PV Systems’, 7 December 2018 3 For more information on EnergyAustralia visit www.energyaustralia.com.au/about-us/media/fact-sheets 1 2
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The first Choice for Stored Energy Solutions
BATTERIES GOING WITH
by Justine Lovell, Communications Adviser, Australian Energy Council
Australia is one of the fastest growing energy storage markets in the world with the most mature storage technologies being pumped hydro and lithium-ion batteries. But other technologies have been developing in the background – such as flow batteries, which provide opportunities in larger scale applications.
t was recently reported that Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, believes that flow batteries are potentially going to be a big contributor in grid-level stationary energy storage1. Batteries can be used to provide back-up electricity if there is insufficient power generation to meet demand, and ensure the stability of the grid by helping to maintain a constant frequency. Flow batteries, in particular, offer an opportunity to make renewable storage more affordable, and could help to grow the industry – increasing the prospects for utility-scale development of solar energy storage.
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Flow batteries Lithium-ion batteries are the most common rechargeable battery, used to deliver high power quickly from everyday household devices, electric vehicles to large grid-scale batteries. But they don't scale up well to the larger sizes needed to provide backup power for cities, according to Michael Perry, Associate Director for Electrochemical Energy Systems at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut. That is where flow batteries can, however, provide opportunities in larger scale applications. Scaling up the batteries to store more power simply requires bigger tanks of electrolytes. Vanadium has become a popular electrolyte component because
the metal charges and discharges reliably for thousands of cycles. Rongke Power, in Dalian, China, for example, is building the world's largest vanadium flow battery, which should come online in 2020. The battery will store 800MWh of energy, enough to power thousands of homes. The market for flow batteries – led by vanadium cells and zinc-bromine, another variety – could grow to nearly $1 billion annually over the next five years, according to the market research firm MarketsandMarkets. The key difference between conventional and flow batteries is how energy is stored: conventional batteries store energy as the electrode material, while a flow battery stores it as the electrolyte in flow cells.
INNOVATION Flow batteries rely on liquid electrolytes that are stored in external tanks, separated by a membrane, and pumped through electrochemical cells2. They can almost instantly recharge by replacing the electrolyte liquid, while simultaneously recovering the spent material for reenergisation. Flow batteries can cycle more often and to greater depths of discharge at 100 per cent with no negative effects on the battery’s performance life (in comparison, lead-acid batteries have around 60 per cent depth-of-discharge, and lithium-ion batteries around 80 per cent3). While the focus to date has been on extending the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries, flow batteries can store power for four hours or more and last for decades (up to 25 years) before needing replacement, making them a promising prospect for powering large utility applications, microgrids and off-grid projects.
Developing flow Today, manufacturers offer a variety of flow battery chemistries with different cells being developed, such as redox, hybrid and membraneless. Redox batteries store energy in the liquid at all times; hybrid flow batteries store at least some energy in solid metal during charge; while the liquids selfseparate in one tank in a membraneless flow battery4. Generally, and depending on the chemistry, flow batteries tend to be less reactive, easy to dispose, are not prone to overheating, and are usually recyclable (helping to address the question of what to do with batteries at the end of their performance life). Australia is a prominent country in the development of flow battery technology. Brisbane-based company Redflow has developed the world’s smallest zinc-bromine flow battery in commercial production. According to the company, their ZBM2 and ZCell flow batteries can shift energy in large volumes, and are designed to support applications ranging from telecommunications and renewables
cent of this market, particularly in the largescale commercial and grid-scale storage markets. According to the company, their flow batteries are suitable for storing large amounts of energy (particularly renewable energy) for later use, and are not prone to the thermal runaway known to occur with li-ion batteries. A look at the US Department of Energy’s Global Energy Storage Database shows that vanadium redox flow batteries are involved in a wide number of projects. Justine Lovell.
integration to on-grid and off-grid remote power, microgrids and smart grids, and transmission and distribution deferral. While Redflow’s ZCell is designed to provide energy storage at a smaller scale, such as homes or offices, their other product offering, the ZBM2, has 10kWh sustained energy storage capacity and can use 100 per cent of its energy storage capacity daily. The ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery is made from recycled or reused components, and at the end of its performance life, the battery’s electrolyte solution can be purified and used for new batteries. The company has signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese zinc-bromine flow battery company ZbestPower Co., Ltd, to supply a large-scale (100kwh) Redflow battery energy storage solution for a demonstration project for a key smart grid project in China. The company’s ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries meanwhile are now storing solar energy to provide a reliable power supply for a remote village in mountainous northern Thailand. With technology born out of the University of New South Wales, VSUN Energy also offers vanadium redox flow batteries, which use a circulating electrolyte solution of vanadium pentoxide to store the charge in tanks. VSUN states that energy storage capacity is expected to grow to 185GWh over the next few years, and vanadium redox flow batteries want to capture 30 per
Some of the major flow battery projects in Australia include: »» »» »» »» »»
Monash University – Vandadium Redox Flow Battery 300kW/1MWh Announced Ergon Energy – RedFlow Zinc Bromine Flow Battery 100kW/480kWh Contracted demonstration project UNSW – Gildemeister CellCube 30kW/130kWh Operational UTS – Sydney Zinc Bromine Flow Battery 25kW Operational King Island Expansion – Vanadium Redox Flow Battery 200kW
Finkel backs unheralded Aussie battery tech companies to go global, Australian Financial Review, 4
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Further development While Australia is leading the way in new flow battery technologies, commercialisation and costs remain challenging. In 2017, Harvard researchers developed a new flow battery prototype that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. By modifying the structures of molecules, and making them water soluble, the researchers were able to engineer a battery that loses only one per cent of its capacity every 1000 cycles. Harvard reported lead researchers, Michael Aziz and Roy Gordon, are quoted as saying5: “Lithium ion batteries don’t even survive 1000 complete charge/discharge cycles. Because we were able to dissolve the electrolytes in neutral water, this is a long-lasting battery that you could put in your basement. If it spilled on the floor, it wouldn’t eat the concrete and since the medium is noncorrosive, you can use cheaper materials to build the components of the batteries, like the tanks and pumps.” The possibility of reduced costs, and a clean solution, presents a game changer – because a significant cost reduction could make stored wind and solar energy more competitive with energy produced from traditional power plants. The Harvard researchers are now working with several companies to scale up the technology for industrial applications. It will be an emerging technology to watch.
Global Change Institute M120 Brisbane – Zinc Bromine Flow Battery 120kW Operational »» RedFlow Adelaide – Base64Zinc Bromine Flow Battery 300kW For a complete list of all flow battery projects globally, visit the US Department of Energy Database, which provides up-to-date information all storage developments at https://www.energystorageexchange.org
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INNOVATION ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
THE CHANGING FACE OF CONSTRUCTION:
The latest research suggests innovation and diversity go hand in hand. For Zinfra, bringing together different skills, languages and generations to create a diverse employee base is a huge advantage because it allows the company to engage more effectively with the communities it serves. Here, Magdalena Klimkowska, Subcontractor Performance Manager at Zinfra, reflects on her career and overcoming the challenges surrounding diversity in the power industry.
hange has been a constant of Magdalena Klimkowska’s personal and professional life, which suits her just fine, as she thrives in the face of it. Ms Klimkowska grew up in a small village in Poland, about two hours south of Krakow. From a young age she knew she wanted to see the world. While studying in Poland, her penchant for adventure took her to the United States on a work and travel program for two months every year. After completing her diploma and then a Masters in textile engineering, she moved to the States to live. She was then presented with an opportunity to head ‘down under’ and work in Melbourne for one of the world’s largest diamond manufacturers and wholesalers. She jumped at the chance to move to Australia, which she describes as “the best place in the world to live”. Opportunity in change Ms Klimkowska describes her time setting up a new division of the diamond business in Australia as a fantastic experience, but she was keen to head down a different career path. Eight years ago, this led her on a totally different path – to the power industry, where Ms Klimkowska started work as a temp in an admin role with Transfield Services. When Zinfra secured a contract with United Energy, she was transferred over to the Zinfra team. She quickly identified that the industry was ripe with opportunities and she was keen to grab them with both hands. “Initially I thought I wanted to become a project manager, so I studied a project management course while working,” Ms Klimkowska said. “But through the various mentors I had at Zinfra, and in response to how the industry was changing, I realized I was better suited for subcontractor management.” Over the past three years, Ms Klimkowska’s role and the scope of her work has changed in response to Zinfra's expansion. These days, Ms Klimkowska and her team, which has grown from two to almost 20 people, manages subcontractor performance in Victoria and Tasmania. “We ensure the subcontractors are consistent with their performance and meet the training requirements that Zinfra and its clients set out,” Ms Klimkowska said. “Our focus is on safety, delivery, excellence, cost-effectiveness and continuous improvement.” One of the key projects Ms Klimkowska and her team has been involved in is managing the subcontractor component of the United Energy contract – Zinfra’s biggest, which is worth more than $100 million per year. Ms Klimkowska describes her role as “a big job”, but is quick to credit the work of her team.
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“It’s a big job, but I’m able to do it because I’ve got a fantastic team. We work collaboratively with all stakeholders to mitigate risks, navigate challenges, find agility and flexibility when it’s needed, and create innovative solutions,” Ms Klimkowska said. “By managing the subcontractors in the power industry, I very quickly understood how crucial it is to create a high-performing team with a great variety of skills.”
Depth in diversity Ms Klimkowska said one of the greatest strengths of her team was in the diversity of its perspectives. “Diversity for me means ‘uniqueness’; we’re not just talking about gender, but different backgrounds, experiences and abilities,” Ms Klimkowska said. “Our industry is constantly evolving and there’s an urgent need for innovative approaches. I find the more diverse the team is, the quicker it is to identify and solve problems. “In my team, we challenge each other’s ways of thinking, while at the same time making everyone comfortable to share their ideas. This creates a culture where no-one is afraid to speak up.” Ms Klimkowska acknowledges that women are underrepresented in the power industry, but she encourages women looking to embark on a career in the industry to see this as an opportunity, not an obstacle. “It is a male-dominated industry – that’s just a fact. But I think we should focus on capability not gender,” Ms Klimkowska said. “My advice is: don’t focus on being one of the few women in the area. Instead, concentrate on making yourself invaluable, becoming an expert in your field, holding yourself to a high standard and having a positive attitude. If your boss knows that you’re up to the challenge, they’re more likely to engage you in those great projects and will want you to be part of their team.” Making the most of mentors Ms Klimkowska also advocates for everyone – irrespective of gender – having supportive mentors. She says she has had several key mentors – including Mark Adams, Paul Cameron and Michael Green at Zinfra – who have helped her develop her skills and supported her during her career at Zinfra. These relationships have helped her navigate times of change by creating a safe space to ask questions, and have given her confidence to embrace new opportunities. “Change can be daunting, and sometimes frustrating. But it opens up so many opportunities to make a difference in the business across multiple levels,” Ms Klimkowska said. “And I thrive on it.”
ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT INNOVATION
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LOOKING BACK WHILE MOVING FORWARDS:
TEN YEARS OF THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY COUNCIL
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For the past ten years, the Energy Efficiency Council has been changing the way Australian governments and energy providers approach policy, regulation and market reform. To mark this milestone, it has released The World’s First Fuel – a report that examines how Australia compares to the rest of the world in energy efficiency, and how we can improve our performance.
en years ago, the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) was created as Australia’s peak body for energy efficiency, energy management and demand response. Since then, it has worked to standardise sensible, cost-effective energy efficiency measures and, on behalf of its members, promote stable government policy, provide clear information to energy users and drive the quality of energy efficiency products and services. This has not been without its challenges – despite progress in some areas, Australia continues to rank behind other developed countries in energy efficiency due to inadequate policy and governance. And we’ve got a long way to go before we meet our national targets for energy efficiency.
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The World’s First Fuel To mark its ten-year milestone, the EEC released The World’s First Fuel: How energy efficiency is reshaping global energy systems. This groundbreaking report examines energy efficiency as the ‘world’s first fuel’ and looks at policies that are being adopted overseas, ways Australia can learn from them and provides recommendations about how Australia can move forward towards being more energy efficient. It was prepared using extensive research and interviews with global experts from the US, Europe and Asia. According to Luke Menzel, Energy Efficiency Council CEO, the report highlights that global leaders do not see energy efficiency as an afterthought in their energy system, but as an integral part of the way they deliver energy to homes and businesses. However, Australia has barely begun to tap the potential of energy efficiency. “There’s all kinds of things in the energy space that we can argue about, but almost nobody would argue against the proposition that we can use energy more smartly in this country,” Mr Menzel said. In fact, in 2018, the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard named Australia as the worst developed country for energy efficiency policy and performance, which contributes to Australia having comparatively high energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. While this assessment was damning, it generated much-needed conversation about Australia’s energy efficiency and how to improve it. “It stimulated debate and provided policy makers and the broader Australia community with an understanding of where we are relative to our global competitors, and just how much opportunity there is if we actually get serious and decide to pull our socks up,” Mr Menzel said. “There is a huge opportunity for Australia to improve our energy efficiency. If we can just pick up some of the sensible policies that are in place in the UK, Germany, and in California, we can make a big dent in people’s energy bills very, very quickly.” The EEC puts this figure at $7.7 billion each year of savings for Australian families and businesses, and an additional 120,000 job years of employment for the Australian job market. A changing industry Mr Menzel said he had observed a number of significant changes to Australia’s energy efficiency landscape over the past decade, including the way businesses respond to the two ‘C’s – cost and carbon. “There’s a cohort of businesses that have ‘cost of energy’ as top of mind. They are looking to take control of their energy position, start to bring down those costs and take control where they can. This has accelerated over the past two or three years as gas and electricity prices have sky-rocketed,” Mr Menzel said. “Then there are businesses that have been coming to the energy management space from a different perspective. They’re obviously interested in bringing down their bills, but they’re also concerned about their carbon footprint.”
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Mr Menzel said another change to the industry was increasing recognition of the need to balance investment in supply, through generation, storage and networks, with managing demand. “In the 20th century energy system we had almost no control over the demand, or what consumers were drawing from the grid. We had a lot of control over our generators, and that’s how we balanced supply and demand,” Mr Menzel said. “In the 21st century, generation is becoming increasingly intermittent. But, at the same time, new technology is coming into the market, which allows us to actively manage demand in smarter ways than we were ever able to before.” “For example, sophisticated demand response is giving market operators around the world new options for balancing supply and demand in real time, and we’ve barely begun to tap the potential in Australia.” EEC estimates that managing demand could reduce energy costs, as currently 25 per cent of retail electricity costs comes from peaks that last for less than 40 hours a year.
Starting at home Mr Menzel said while it was important for all Australians to become aware of their energy consumption, the real way to effect change among residential users was through changes to policy and regulation by government, market reform of the energy sector and innovative business models that make smart and cost-effective decisions as easy as possible. “I think we’ve got a bit of work to do in the energy space to make it as easy as possible for householders to have a warm home, cold beer and a low energy bill without having to think about it,” Mr Menzel said. “We don’t want to turn everyone into an energy expert; we want sensible and innovative business models and reforms in terms of policy and regulation that allow us to have a 21st century energy system – a flexible energy system – that delivers to consumers without them having to worry about it. “For example, if there are restrictions placed on the availability of crappy appliances that have a low up-front cost but end up costing a fortune to run and place a ridiculous load on the grid, then that’s a good thing for everybody.” The EEC estimates that minimum standards for appliances already save the average Australian household $140 to $220 each year. “And if new homes had a reasonable minimum energy performance standard, people wouldn’t have to worry about whether they’re going to be paying too much on their energy bill, or whether their home is going to be comfortable in summer and warm in winter,” Me Menzel said. Achievements in Australian energy reform In 2015 the Australian Government set a target to improve energy productivity by 40 per cent between 2015 and 2030. While this was a major step in the right direction, the EEC indicates that this target is significantly less than Australia’s potential for costeffective energy efficiency improvement. And, despite this modest www.energymagazine.com.au
target, Australia is not on track to achieve it due to the absence of necessary policy. Mr Menzel said the EEC had turned to the states and territories to provide leadership in energy efficiency. “We’ve really advocated for the states pick up the slack and, particularly in NSW and Victoria, we’ve seen some fantastic efforts and initiatives. There have also been some great energy efficiency schemes to come out of in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT,” he said. “And NSW has good business-facing programs to help manufacturers, for example, improve their energy management.” Mr Menzel said another example of where progress was being made was through the implementation of the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and the associated building disclosure program. “This has been a world-leading program that has allowed tenants and potential purchasers of commercial office buildings to get an understanding of the energy performance of a building,” Mr Menzel said. “NABERS is an incredibly robust system, and is an example of where light touch regulation can do an incredible job in informing the market. It is making sure that when building owners are investing in sensible efficiency measures, that actually gets valued in the market and tenant retention goes up and building value goes up.”
Onwards and upwards Looking forward to the next ten years, Mr Menzel is optimistic that if the recommendations outlined in The World’s First Fuel are adopted, Australia could make up ground in improving its energy efficiency. “There’s a whole range of recommendations in there that cover virtually every sector of the economy,” Mr Menzel said. “I’d suggest that pursuing cost-effective energy efficiency measures across the economy that cut people’s energy bills at the same time as effectively reducing carbon, be one of the first orders of business for the Australian Government. “We need new policy and additional funding to support businesses and households and get us back on track to improve Australia’s energy productivity.” By acting decisively, and fast, Australia is well placed to dramatically reduce our energy bills, boost our energy security and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at a time when energy management is going to become even more important as we move to renewable sources.
Visit http://eec.org.au/handbook to access a copy of the report.
Discussing why the next decade is critical for Australia’s energy transformation, and how to move energy management to the centre of our energy debate: Christoph von Spesshardt, Vice Chairman of the German Business Initiative for Energy Efficiency; Davina Rooney, CEO, Green Building Council of Australia; and Audrey Zibelman, CEO and MD of the Australian Energy Market Operator at the EEC's 10th anniversary event in June.
The Energy Efficiency Council’s report The World’s First Fuel examines how Australia compares to the rest of the world in energy efficiency.
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AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL ENERGY OUTLOOK –
POWERING THE NEXT 40 YEARS by Paul Graham, Chief Economist, CSIRO Energy
A researcher at the solar thermal collector field at CSIRO’s Newcastle Energy Centre. © CSIRO Images.
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CSIRO has now completed its second Australian National Outlook process. The goal was to solve the problem of how we can provide a standard of living for the next generation that is as good as, or better than, what we presently enjoy. In the energy sector, the specific challenges in meeting this goal are to provide improved energy affordability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that minimise the impacts of climate change.
onsistent with Australia’s commitments to 2030, which were taken to the Paris Climate Convention, Australia presently has a mix of state and commonwealth climate policy goals and mechanisms. However, none of these policies are sufficiently developed to provide a clear line of sight on how the energy sector should respond over the long term – to 2060 and beyond. They are also subject to political change. Given this uncertainty, the National Outlook recognises the potential for a variety of outcomes, but consistent with the stated goal, the report presents an Outlook Vision to reduce emissions to net zero by 2060. To do this, the National Outlook finds that the electricity sector, an electrified transport sector and increased energy efficiency will be the major contributors to abatement. Electricity and the role of renewables The electricity sector’s comparative advantage in contributing to greenhouse gas abatement stems from the fact that it now has access to renewable electricity generation technologies that are cost competitive with fossil fuel technologies. They cannot be beaten for costs on a new build basis, even when taking into account the additional cost of supporting variable renewables to deliver reliable and stable electricity. This very recent change in relative costs stems from two difficult-to-predict circumstances. The first is that solar photovoltaics has been able to sustain a very high rate of cost reductions for longer than any other energy technology. Most energy technologies experience a period of high-cost reductions in their early adoption but, as their market share increases, they mature and cost reduction becomes harder to achieve. The costs of solar photovoltaics have continued to fall even during their ongoing ‘mature’ phase. The second change that was overlooked was in regard to wind power. Wind did follow the normal cost reduction pathway, with the rate of capital cost reduction falling as
its share in the market for new generation capacity matured. However, while capital cost reductions slowed, the utilisation factor for wind kept growing. Larger turbines meant that wind turbines became better at capturing wind, particularly in low wind speed conditions. While the growing size of wind turbines was not a secret, it was easy to overlook when falling capital costs for solar were making regular headlines in the media. Major cost reductions in not just one but two renewable electricity generation technologies makes the economic case for renewables even more difficult to ignore. Wind and solar complement each other in the sense that their renewable output is less variable when their output is combined. Two low-cost renewables also increase the geographical reach because where one type of technology might not be suited due to local weather, the other may be. Solar, in particular, can be deployed at multiple scales from kilowatts on rooftops – which is now the norm in Australia – to hundreds of megawatt farms that are growing in size and number every year. The inevitable increased reliance on renewables and their continued falling costs mean we can expect a flatter outlook for electricity prices over the long term, with new renewable capacity preventing a return to the sustained price increases we have seen over the past decade in Australia.
Electrified transport In the transport sector, electric vehicles are the most promising solution. Unlike the electricity sector, electric vehicles are not currently competitive with conventional alternatives. The path to low-cost electric vehicles is more difficult. At low volumes they will never achieve the same costs as conventional vehicles, which are produced at factories churning out several hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. However, there is good reason to be confident that the competitive advantage will eventually switch to electric vehicles. Global electric vehicle manufacturing is scaling up, assisted by various policy changes across September 2019 ISSUE 7
CSIRO solar PV and researchers at the Newcastle Energy Centre. © CSIRO Images.
many countries to encourage their early adoption. Also, battery costs have been delivering some impressive cost reductions. It appears batteries may be following the same path as solar photovoltaics and will continue delivering significant cost reductions, despite being a relatively mature technology. Fuel cell vehicles will also play some role, although their exact share of the fleet depends on further reductions in the cost of the fuel cell and the emergence of a hydrogen supply chain. Hydrogen could play a number of roles in the energy sector within countries seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Outlook Vision scenario included the emergence of a hydrogen export industry. This simply recognises that Australia has an abundance
of primary energy sources that could be exported to assist other countries, with fewer resources, to build an additional low emissions source into their energy mix.
Energy efficiencies Improvements in energy efficiency have accelerated in recent decades but, in most building and industry sectors, we remain far from accessing the full technical potential. This is both a challenge and an opportunity, since energy efficiency delivers cost savings as well as emissions reduction through reduced energy consumption. With the expected flat trend in electricity prices and rising incomes, increasing the rate of improvement in energy efficiency means that electricity’s share of income could fall two thirds compared to the
present day (in real terms). The barriers to achieving this outcome are well known – competing priorities and split incentives between landlords and renters, among others. However, the recent historical success provides a more confident position from which to plan the next phase of improvements in building and equipment standards. The energy sector has seen surprising technology improvements and evidence of the transition having already begun in electricity generation and energy efficiency. This means that, despite the long-term nature of the Australian National Outlook, we can be confident that at least as far as the energy sector is concerned, providing better outcomes is achievable.
Refuelling a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with CSIRO’s ultra-pure hydrogen derived from ammonia. © CSIRO Images.
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ENERGY EFFICIENCY ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
IN HOSPITALS E nergy efficiency is a key pillar of the modern energy industry – it’s widely regarded as “the first fuel”, and it’s the first step any organisation that is serious about reducing its carbon footprint needs to take on its journey to environmental sustainability. Beyond the environmental benefits, improving an organisation’s energy efficiency is going to undoubtedly have an impact on its bottom line – after all, the cheapest kilowatt is the kilowatt you don’t use. In NSW, the Office of Environment and Heritage provides funding for government agencies to make substantial energy savings to help meet NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) targets. The GREP includes measures, targets and minimum standards to drive efficiency in energy, water and waste and improve air quality. A number of NSW local health districts have taken advantage of this funding, including Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and Mid North Coast Local Health District, both of which engaged Veolia in Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) to help them reduce their energy usage through a range of innovative measures. According to Hector Herrero-Lopez, Veolia’s Business Development Manager for Energy Solutions, there are multiple benefits on offer when hospitals and health services providers take a closer look at their energy consumption – and how they can reduce it. “Since hospitals are high energyintensive facilities, the implementation of energy efficiency solutions allows us to deliver significant savings and also make a substantial contribution to the decarbonisation of the region,” said Mr Herrero-Lopez. An additional benefit of bringing an external energy expert in on a contract basis is the fact that it allows health services providers to focus on their core
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business, rather than having to invest staff capital in energy upgrades. And, according to Mr Herrero-Lopez, “When you bring passionate and likeminded teams together, good things start to happen.”
An energy-intensive environment Hospitals are among the biggest energy consumers in the country. They are large facilities with very specific cooling needs; they operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and they utilise equipment that is particularly energy-intensive across all of their departments. So it’s no surprise that hospitals are the ideal environment in which to conduct an energy efficiency audit; and identify some serious potential savings. For Danny Saunders, Project Manager Energy and Environmental Sustainability at Mid North Coast Local Health District, it was essential that the organisation take a closer look at their energy usage, and identify areas were savings could be made. “We operate in an environment where we’re seeing more and more investment in health care facilities, our equipment is using more and more energy, and we are building new things constantly,” said Mr Saunders. “Meanwhile, electricity prices are constantly increasing, which means that a lot of the energy efficiency measures we put in are actually just buffering us for the tariff increases, rather than actually reducing our financial bottom line. “Continuing to improve our energy efficiency, and implementing more measures that ultimately impact our bottom line, is very important to us.” Wayne Davies from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District agreed. “The savings are a good thing; but it’s also important for us to be a good corporate citizen, saving money through different initiatives, and using the savings to improve patient care,” said Mr Davies.
Innovation at work Since engaging Veolia through EPCs, both Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and Mid North Coast Local Health District have put a range of innovative new measures in place to help reduce their energy usage. At Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, the main innovation was to join two separate buildings’ chilled water systems together, to allow more flexibility so that both buildings can be supplied from a single chiller when the ambient conditions are suited. “Other improvements included building management system upgrades; converting the theatre heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system from a direct expansion system to chilled water, which allows better temperature and humidity control; and replacing 20-year old reciprocating compressors with modern centrifugal units,” said Mr Davies. Over at Mid North Coast Local Health District, a new chiller plant was installed at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus to cool the building, which makes an enormous difference to the quality of the building, and has so far resulted in pretty significant energy savings. “We also put in a few Shaw Method of Air-Conditioning (SMAC) units, which basically preconditions the air to strip the humidity out,” said Mr Saunders. “We did some work with variable speed drive pumps and window tinting as well, which actually had an enormous impact on the hospital. On windows that had quite a bit of sun, you could just feel it immediately after the installation that there was really a temperature change.” For both organisations, full LED lighting upgrades were also carried out across all facilities, resulting in tens of thousands of light globes being changed; and there have been significant solar installations carried out across facilities, ranging from five kilowatts up to 100 kilowatts.
ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Large buildings, like hospitals, use a considerable amount of energy as part of their day-to-day operations, so it makes sense that the managers of these facilities would be interested in looking at ways to reduce their consumption and improve their bottom line. NSW Health recently engaged the services of leading environmental solutions provider, Veolia, through a range of Energy Performance Contracts designed to identify the key areas where they could reduce their energy consumption and make their buildings more energy efficient.
A significant solar installation was added to the roof of the Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre as part of Veolia’s contract with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
Substantial savings With the extent of the measures carried out between the two organisations, an impact on the bottom line was inevitable. In fact, for both EPCs, Veolia guaranteed a cost saving of at least 12 per cent, with anything less than that figure to be covered by Veolia. With the range of measures now having been in place for a while, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District is anticipating savings to be approximately $680,000 per year; while Mid North Coast Local Health District has already saved 859MWh of power and achieved and a cost saving of $543,000 in the first quarter of operation alone. For both organisations, it’s just the beginning of where they want to go in their energy efficiency and reduction journeys. “It’s been a really good experience, and one that we’d like to roll out to other sites,” said Mr Davies. “This is just the first step for us. We’ve shown the improvements that we’ve had, and how easy it was to make the savings. There are a lot of things that we can be doing; and now that we’ve shown how successful EPCs can be, I’m sure that we’ll have executive support to be able to roll some more out.” For Mr Saunders, the next steps are centred around moving Mid North Coast Local Health to being a zero emissions organisation, and to that end, the organisation has made considerable steps towards scoping what this might look like, and establishing a time frame for this to happen within. They’re also currently working on a battery energy storage system that will go into Port Macquarie Base Hospital and provide over a megawatt hour of storage; as well as expanding some of the large-scale solar they have installed at their facilities, including a 151kW installation which will be the largest installation at a health care facility in the Southern Hemisphere. One of the most important outcomes from these EPCs is the fact that when healthcare facilities are able to reduce their energy consumption – and ultimately reduce their energy bills – surplus funds go back into the people and equipment that service these local communities. And that is good news by any measure.
By monitoring usage healthcare facilities are able to reduce their energy consumption.
One of the first steps of both EPCs was to replace all existing lighting with LED lighting.
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Despite Federal Policy inertia when it comes to wind and other renewables, the Australian wind energy industry is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Here, we take a look at how the industry has performed in recent years, and how it may fare in the years ahead.
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SOARING WIND INDUSTRY
SET TO SLASH ELECTRICITY PRICES by Andrew Bray, National Coordinator, Australian Wind Alliance (AWA)
n 2013, Victoria’s Macarthur Wind Farm became the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. Next year that honour will pass to the newly commissioned 453 megawatt (MW) Coopers Gap wind farm in Queensland. The differences between the two projects tell an uplifting story of how quickly
Australia’s wind sector is developing. Coopers Gap will cost 20 per cent less to build than Macarthur and yet will deliver 50 per cent more electricity – enough to power 264,000 homes1. Wind’s dramatic performance improvements have helped fuel a construction boom that saw wind generation reach 4020 gigawatt hours
(GWh) in the second quarter of 20192, an annual growth rate of 28 per cent. As this trend continues, we can expect a windfall of tumbling electricity prices in the coming years. Indeed, the good times for wind are just getting started. Wind generation is set to almost double from 18,000 to 34,000GWh per year, with
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WIND 4491MW of wind projects currently being built3. According to modelling firm Reputex, wind is about to blow past both gas and brown coal, stepping up to the podium to become Australia’s second-largest source of electricity by 20224 (as shown in Figure 1). Wholesale power prices are projected to take a dive due to this influx of cheap, renewable energy, with brown and black coal being increasingly pushed out of the market.5 Despite this positive outlook, the road ahead for wind energy is not clear cut. Here are some of the most notable trends, drivers, opportunities and barriers for wind in the next few years.
States pushing on in a federal policy vacuum The Federal Government, newly re-elected in May, still lacks a credible emissions reduction policy5. Many in the industry, along with state governments, are calling for coherent direction from Canberra. Despite the absence of new policy, the Federal Government has set its sights on reducing power prices – setting a target price of $70 per megawatt hour (MWh) for wholesale electricity by 202120226. Projections show we are on track for lower power prices, but the new Federal Government is not to thank5. The current buildout of wind and solar farms is the final tranche of projects driven by the federal 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET). Added to this, state-level RETs in Queensland and Victoria are enabling further new projects, with Victoria making strong progress. These large-scale renewable projects, together with a dramatic uptake of rooftop solar over the next 18 months, are expected to drive down wholesale electricity prices.
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Figure 1. NEM electricity generation by technology type.
And it’s not just Queenslanders and Victorians pushing for more renewable energy. South Australian State Liberal Energy Minister, Dan Van Holst Pellekaan, is pushing for SA to achieve 100 per cent renewables by 20307. His dream? For South Australia to produce more electricity than needed for its own consumption, and to sell excess electricity interstate through a proposed state interconnector to NSW. If this interconnector proceeds it will pave the way for large-scale wind and solar projects to be built on pastoral land in the northeast of South Australia, adjacent to this new transmission.
Planning the unstoppable transition to renewables The South Australia-NSW interconnector is just the first of a number of major transmission upgrades the Australian Energy
WIND Market Operator (AEMO) is actively planning. Through its 2019-20 Integrated System Plan (ISP), AEMO is building the framework for a 20 year transition process of our electricity system ageing coal-burning plants to renewable energy backed by storage. The ISP could be the game changer in a country of heated climate politics, outlining the steps for how governments could build a modern energy grid, filled with renewable energy. The next version of the ISP is due at the end of this year and will model different speeds of transitioning electricity systems. Excitingly, it will include a fast-transition “step change” model investigating what a shift in government policy to more rapid emissions reduction and rapid uptake in renewables would look like. Existing modelling done for AEMO suggests that coordinated and planned infrastructure investment could provide $3.8 billion in savings to consumers8. A transition is coming, and this is good news for workers and communities who are reaping the benefits of a booming wind industry. At the end of 2018, there were 5000 direct jobs in wind energy and a total of $8 billion of investment flowing into these projects and their communities9.
Industry and corporates blowing into wind power Some wind projects are even helping to grow new industries through power purchase agreements (PPAs). Take the Bulgana Green Power Hub – a $350 million wind farm plus Tesla battery setup, which is going to power the largest
greenhouse in Australia – the Nectar Farms expansion in western Victoria. This is a world first for the horticulture industry and will bring 420 jobs to the north-west of Victoria, as well as clean, cheap wind energy for the Nectar Farm and the rest of the state10. Corporates are also starting to write their own PPAs with generators, turning to renewables to stabilise their rising power bills. Since 2016, businesses like Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank and organisations like the University of NSW have been snapping up a whopping 3600MW of renewable energy. Of these, 42 per cent are wind farms and a further 8% a mix of wind and solar11. The new Business Renewable Centre Australia members portal, launched in March this year, is designed to link up businesses with renewables projects to organise PPAs12. Based on an American model, the portal already has over 200 members with 13,000+MW of renewables on offer13. This direct avenue to market ensures price certainty, reduces emissions and improves corporate sustainability and image. While government policy remains uncertain, corporate appetite for these offerings will remain strong. In the medium term, certainty in federal energy policy will be needed to sustain investment and continue the downward trajectory of wholesale electricity prices14, as well as to properly play our part in solving the climate crisis. But for the next few years, it’s going to be a breeze for wind and the consumers who will enjoy cheaper power prices.
More power from renewables than brown coal for the first time ever, Australian Financial Review,
3 July 2019
Renewable energy is growing, but NSW and Queensland are still undershooting their targets, ABC,
AEMO to model “step change” in energy transition and major emission cuts, Renew Economy, 7 https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/resources/technologies/wind
10 July 2019
Where to for wholesale electricity prices under ‘current policy’?, RepuTex Energy, 29 May 2019
7 GW of renewables up for grabs in new online marketplace, ARENA, 21 March 2019
'Our plan is very clear': No climate revamp for re-elected Coalition, SBS News, 19 May 2019
Coalition to pledge ‘price target’ to cut household power bills, The Australian, 10 May 2019
Power prices set to rise without coherent federal policy, Clean Energy Council, 10 September 2018
4 5 6
Australia's energy future: the real power is not where you’d think, The Guardian, 22 June 2019
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ustralia received its first wind farm, the Salmon Beach Wind Farm, back in 1987. Located in Western Australia, the Australian first was operational for 15 years. By the end of 2018, wind energy had expanded its reach significantly, with 94 wind farms operating across Australia. During the early 2000s, the major driving force to construct wind farms was the Federal Government’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (now known as the Renewable Energy Target), with the initial aim to source two per cent of the nation's electricity generation from renewable sources. In 2009, this was increased to ensure renewable energy made up the equivalent of 20 per cent of Australia's electricity (41,000GWh). Today, wind remains the cheapest form of new energy to build and a significant contributor to the nation’s electricity generation. Over 850MW of wind energy was installed in 2018, making it the best ever year for installed wind farm capacity; and at the end of 2018, 24 wind farms with a combined capacity of 5.69GW were under construction or financially committed nationally, representing more than $8 billion of investment and creating almost 5000 jobs2. Below we take a closer look at some of the major wind projects around Australia currently contributing to our country’s energy needs. The largest of its kind The Macarthur Wind Farm in Victoria is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, with 140 3MW fully operational turbines. Project developer AGL engaged Leighton Contractors and Vestas to construct the 420MW wind farm, which took around two and a half years to build. The wind farm has been fully operational since late January 2013.
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THE BIGGEST FANS OF WIND
ENERGY With wind energy generating over 16000GW of power in 2018 (7.1 per cent of Australiaâ€™s total generation1), this renewable energy source is continually increasing its contribution to the National Electricity Market. Here, we take a look at some of Australiaâ€™s biggest and most successful wind projects and the stories behind their development.
by India Murphy, Assistant Editor, Energy Magazine
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Vestas continues to play an important role in ongoing operations at Macarthur. As the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas brings state-of-the-art technology, quality and reliability to the project, ensuring its long-term success. During development and construction, the total number of jobs (including flow-on employment) was estimated at 875 from the region, 2490 from Victoria and 2782 from the rest of Australia. A permanent site team – responsible for ongoing maintenance and operations – includes 18 local residents from south-west Victoria. The wind farm is located on an actual farm, spanning over approximately 5500 hectares of agricultural land which functions as paddocks for sheep and cattle. In 2015, AGL sold 50 per cent of its interest in the project to HRL Morrison & Co managed funds. AGL continues to operate and maintain the wind farm on behalf of Morrison & Co.
Community first The Sapphire Wind Farm is a large scale renewable energy project which provides enough clean energy to power around 115,000 homes and displaces 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The largest wind farm in New South Wales, Sapphire is located in the New England region of the state, and also provides energy for the Australia Capital Territory. The wind farm generates enough energy to power approximately 115,000 homes each year, and is helping the ACT reach its target of 100 per cent renewable by 2020. It also brings many economic benefits to the New England region, including over 150 new jobs. Construction of the wind farm was undertaken by a consortium comprising of Vestas and Zenviron. Vestas supplied and installed the wind turbines at the farm; while Zenviron was responsible for the civil and electrical balance of the plant. In addition, TransGrid built a new substation as part of the project, adjacent to their high-voltage transmission line network. From the outset of this project, CWP Renewables, the developer of Sapphire, made a commitment to make the community a priority for the project. The Sapphire Wind Farm provides a community co-investment opportunity – an Australian first for large-scale, public investment into a utility-scale wind farm. The wind farm also contributes to a Community Benefit Fund, which gives local community groups grants from funds generated by the farm. Approximately $3.75 million will be invested in local community projects spanning over 20 years. The more, the merrier The Hallett Wind Farms is the collective name for the four wind farms located near the town of Hallett, South Australia, approximately 180km north of Adelaide. Together, the four wind farms have a combined generation capacity of 351MW. The four wind farms each have their own generating capacities – Brown Hill has a capacity of 95MW, Hallett Hill has a capacity of 71MW, North Brown Hill has a capacity of 132MW and Bluff Range, also known as ‘The Bluff’, runs at 53MW. The first Hallett wind farm, Brown Hill, was operational from June 2008. Hallett Hill followed in May 2010, then North Brown Hill came online in May 2011. Finally, The Bluff commenced operations in March 2012. Suzlon built the Hallett Wind Farms and they continue to play an important role in maintaining and servicing both North Brown Hill and Bluff Range. Brown Hill and Hallett Hill are maintained and serviced by Vestas. During the development and construction of the wind farms peak employment was 433. Currently 36 people are permanently
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employed in day-to-day operations at the wind farms. The Hallett Wind Farms can generate enough clean energy to power around 205,000 average Australian homes and save approximately 770,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. The site of the Brown Hill Wind Farm utilises an innovative rock anchor solution to support the wind turbines, which uses only a third of the concrete and reinforcement required in traditional foundations. The payback period for embodied energy during the development of the wind farms was estimated at less than six months. This means that the total amount of carbon emissions created during construction of the farms was offset by operation within six months.
Conquering a challenging site Mt Emerald Wind Farm was the largest wind farm in Queensland when it began operating in 2018.
Mt Emerald Wind Farm
Hornsdale Wind Farm
Sapphire Wind Farm
Hallett Wind Farms Macarthur Wind Farm
The site of wind farm spans 2400 hectares and was selected due to its excellent wind conditions, small residential population, and proximity to an existing electricity network. The $360 million project exported its first contribution to the national electricity grid in August 2018, with the wind farm becoming fully operational in November. The location of the Mt Emerald Wind Farm posed several complex challenges during construction. The rocky terrain and steep gradients were difficult to construct on, as well as the complication of the site previously being used as a World War II live fire training area. The site was also home to a population of endangered
marsupials, the Northern Quoll, and an additional six protected plant species. Expert advice was sought during the planning of the wind farm in order to minimise the impact on the environment and wildlife. The Mt Emerald Wind Farm received approval development approval in 2015 for 63 turbines, but 53 were installed. The installed turbines have been located away from the endangered habitats and are not in close proximity to prominent ridgelines, in order to minimise visual and cultural heritage effects. The 53 installed turbines have been able to produce a significant quantity of renewable power, enabling the farm to successfully function without negatively impacting on the protected fauna and flora. Two models of wind turbine were used for this project â€“ there are 37 3.45MW-capacity turbines measuring 148.5m to the tip of the blade, along with 16 3.3MW-capacity turbines with a total height to the blade tip of 140m.
A world first The Hornsdale Wind Farm is located north of Jamestown, South Australia. The 315MW wind farm consists of 99 wind turbines and is capable of generating approximately 1,050,000MWh of clean, renewable electricity into the National Electricity Market each year â€“ enough electricity to power approximately 180,000 homes with renewable energy. These reductions are the equivalent of taking either 290,000 cars off the road or planting 1.9 million trees. The electricity generated from each turbine is transmitted to a central cable marshalling point at the onsite substation, located adjacent to the 275kV power line that runs through the site area. The substation then connects directly into the National Electricity Transmission Grid. Owned by French renewable energy company Neoen, the wind turbine generators were imported from Denmark and the towers were sourced from Vietnam. The farm has an Australian touch, with two of the wind turbine towers featuring paintings by artists from the Indigenous people of the region, which is a world first. Nukunu woman Jessica Turner created an artwork which represents the Dreamtime story of the serpentâ€™s role in forming landscapes. Chris Angrave and Louise Brown are both Ngadjuri people who depicted how the Mungiura were found in the hilly country, peering over the top of windbreaks. The wind farm is also well known thanks to its proximity to the Tesla built Hornsdale Power Reserve, which is the largest lithiumion battery in the world. A renewable future The featured projects demonstrate that the balance between renewable energy infrastructure, the environment, and the local community can be achieved with proper consideration and measures in place. As the debate around renewable energy and climate change becomes more urgent, and the need to source more energy for the National Electricity Market that is clean and affordable increases, we will continue to see more wind farm developments across Australia.
Page 9, Clean Energy Australia Report 2019, Clean Energy Council https://assets.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/documents/resources/reports/clean-energy-australia/clean-energy-australia-report-2019.pdf
Page 72, Clean Energy Australia Report 2019, Clean Energy Council https://assets.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/documents/resources/reports/clean-energy-australia/clean-energy-australia-report-2019.pdf
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WIND ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
MAKING CONSTRUCTION SAFETY A PRIORITY As any successful business knows, maintaining a safe and productive work environment is more important than getting the job done as quickly as possible. When dealing with jobs like cable installation and trenching, you need to be confident that you are dealing with industry experts who can successfully and safely complete the job.
ll Energy Contracting has been formed by long established and respected Australian earthmoving companies, primarily involved in the construction of pipelines throughout Australia. With over 90 years of construction experience between their four directors, you can be confident that you and your project are in safe hands. Focusing on trenching, cable installation, high voltage connection, backfilling and compaction, they make light work of the difficult task of cable installation. Based out of Brisbane, they have the support and know how to bring any project together anywhere in Australia. All Energy Contracting also utilises local labour when possible for all jobs, and makes it a priority to try to engage indigenous personnel wherever possible. All Energy Contracting provides a complete solution for projects, including specialist equipment, earthmoving equipment, off road trucks, support vehicles, skilled operators, experienced supervisors and maintenance support. Safety first All Energy Contracting brings a proven record in delivering high standards, not just in their work but also in health, safety, environment and quality, to all of their projects. All Energy Contracting understands that communicating and consulting with clients, asset owners and land owners throughout the entire project, from the initial tender to final completion, ensures the best outcome for all involved. Policies and systems have been developed and are continually improved to ensure the wellbeing of the work environment, staff, and others in the community are a priority. All elements are considered in the planning and performance of all work activities.
It is All Energy Contracting’s shared belief that: No business objective will take priority over health, safety and the environment »» All injuries are preventable, and the company strives to have every person go home from work at least as healthy as when they arrived »» No task is so important or urgent that it cannot be done safely – they encourage and expect personal responsibility for safety, environmental and quality control behaviour »» A culture of continuous improvement, openness and ownership »» Without diminishing management’s obligations, the responsibility and accountability for health and safety rests with every individual »» Health and safety of their employees, contractors, clients, partners, community, landowners and environment are equally important »» Improving performance is consistent with improving the long term sustainability of the business All Energy’s innovative cable trailers are self-loading, negating the need for cable drum cranage. They can also be joined, making trefoil cable lay a single pass operation. With capacity for up to 20 tonne cable drums, they are ideal for long runs; and the company is continually investing in new equipment, in many cases customdesigned to improve productivity and safety. »»
RECENT PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN BY THE TEAM AT ALL ENERGY UGL – White rocks solar to wind farm trenching and cable install CPP – High voltage and earthing cable trenching, Williamsdale Solar Farm Project Zenviron – Trenching and specialist plant hire, Sapphire Wind Farm Decmil – Trenching, screening, backfill and compaction, Sunraysia Solar Farm Beon – Trenching, cable laying including joining, backfill and compaction, Yatpool Solar Farm
For more information about All Energy Contracting and the range of services they provide, head to www.allenergyco.com.au
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"Energy can be free in Australia" THE FUTURE FOR THE INDUSTRY ACCORDING TO DEAN SPACCAVENTO Terms like altruism and space exploration are not usually synonymous with the energy industry. However, Reposit co-founder Dean Spaccavento is looking to a future where renewable energy is regarded as a sound investment option, climate change is remediated, energy is made available for free to all members of the community and we reach to the stars for new energy sources.
eposit co-founder Dean Spaccavento has built a career on questioning everything, challenging the status quo and finding better and more efficient ways to do things. His company Reposit has developed a smart home energy management system, which enables users to maximise their solar and battery set-up by tracking when and how households use electricity, and then sells excess energy for the highest possible price. Since its inception in 2013, Reposit has achieved market success, generated savings and even revenue for its users, and has plans to expand overseas. But Mr Spaccavento’s
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motivation to develop products and solutions for the energy industry is not motivated by profit; it comes from his desire to negate the effects of climate change for the sake of his children – a responsibility he says we all share – and his social conscience to make energy freely available to everyone.
Motivating investors From his early days in the energy industry – and thanks to a background in the world of banking – Mr Spaccavento realised that the key to securing finance for innovation within the energy industry was always going to be centred around proving and providing a solid return on investment.
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DISTRIBUTED GENERATION “I don’t think it will be government policy getting investors on board; I don’t think it will be bleeding hearts; I don’t think it will be people trying to be green. No-one is taking a loss to fix climate change; it has to be done with a profit motive,” Mr Spaccavento said. “Fortunately, it just so happens that now, electricity from renewables is zero marginal cost, and zero marginal cost is a very difficult thing to compete against. “Solar is the cheapest source of generation. Depending on where you are, and what your marginal loss factor is, solar and storage is more cost-effective than coal today, and it’s just going to get more so.” According to Mr Spaccavento, while it’s disappointing that the National Electricity Objectives which guide the industry do not have a climate component, the fact that investors are starting to recognise that investing in renewable energy is sound is an encouraging step forward for the industry – and, perhaps more importantly, the climate objectives of Australia.
Electric vehicles charging the way Mr Spaccavento predicts that solid state batteries, used in electric vehicles, will be the next big thing in Australia’s energy industry. “Solid state batteries will have increased energy density, better operating characteristics, and they will probably be able to be manufactured more cheaply and deliver higher power,” he said. Advancements in this technology are being led by German, Japanese and Chinese companies, in response to market-leaders such as Tesla testing the waters with electric vehicles. The positive response to this technology has paved the way for other companies to develop a greater range of products, with a broader selection of price tags. However, according to Mr Spaccavento, the big question that remains is how will users charge their electric vehicles in a way that is cost and energy efficient. “The question outstanding here is what happens – do you end up with a home solar battery, as well as electric vehicles? Or do you end up with most households having two electric vehicles, one of them is in the garage more often than the other one, and effectively is there to catch the solar during the day at home, to be able to feed back into the home at night? “We have customers charging their cars from their home solar batteries right now, and as a result they have mobility costs that are close to zero. Their home solar battery charges during the day, powers their home, and then charges their EV at night.” And while Mr Spaccavento also notes that charging infrastructure, as well as the price of electric vehicles, are slowing our adoption of this technology, the tide is starting to turn pretty quickly, and it won’t be too far into the next decade that we start to see some major shifts in the Australian energy market thanks to electric vehicles and home solar batteries. Energetic altruism Mr Spaccavento said that while he was excited about the new opportunities technology brought to the energy industry, he grappled with the notion that early adopters of technology, who tended to be affluent, were the ones with access to new technologies, while other members of the community struggled from day-to-day in the face of rising electricity rates. “All technology widens the wealth gap, that’s just the trend; we’ve seen it over the past 30 years and we will continue to do so,” he said. However, Mr Spaccavento is optimistic that we’re heading towards a future where Australians can have energy for free. “I think Australia, the population, the citizenry of Australia, can have energy for free, and it can be something that the Australian
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economy, or the electricity system provides,” he said. “This could be achieved if Australia realised its potential as a global source of hydrogen, which can be produced from the abundant solar resource that we have.
“There’s no reason why we can’t do that and, as a result, improve the quality of life for everybody in this country by giving them free energy.” Mr Spaccavento said that while free energy for everybody might be a while off, there was potential to help those struggling in the shorter-term. “One of the things that would be useful is the donation of excess energy through peer-to-peer trading,” Mr Spaccavento said. “I think anyone who’s got excess energy should be interested in helping people who can’t pay for the energy component so they get the energy for free. It’s not peer-to-peer trading; it’s peer-topeer gifting.”
Virtual power plants A combined community approach to energy is already being trialled in Sydney, where Reposit has partnered with Ausgrid to turn homes into ‘virtual power plants’. Nearly 300 houses across 170 suburbs are taking part in the trial, which combines their solar and battery sources into one single unit.
Mr Spaccavento describes virtual power plants as the building blocks for our future electricity grid, and warns that the ‘big power companies’ need to take heed. “Virtual power plants are the next step in Australia’s energy revolution,” he said. The NSW Government has also invested $20 million in 900 smart solar batteries to create a 13MW virtual power plant. This will turn hospitals and schools into mini power plants using solar panels and batteries, and is expected to save up to $40,000 per year. This initiative is designed to address the cost of running these facilities, which account for nearly half of the State Government’s energy bill. If successful, the government will expand the technology to other departments.
Shooting for the stars When he’s asked about the future of energy, Mr Spaccavento says the sky is literally no limit. “Asteroid mining is already something that people are paying attention to,” he said. “As soon as there’s a commodity that’s got a very, very high volume and a good price attached to it, there will be a lot of investment spent.” While he concedes that asteroid mining is probably about 30 years away, Mr Spaccavento says there are a number of projects and technologies that will play a key role in the short-term, such as hydro projects, hydrogen, 5G, high-temperature superconductors, power-handling semiconductors and insulated-gate bipolar transistors. And, with a focus on sustainability and social responsibility, and the use of smart technology, he’s optimistic that the future of energy can be positive for everyone, now and in the future. www.energymagazine.com.au
9–10 October 2019 SOFITEL SYDNEY WENTWORTH
NATIONAL ENERGY SUMMIT
SPEAKER LINE-UP FEATURING:
The Hon Angus Taylor MP Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
Dr Kerry Schott Independent Chair, Electricity Security Board
Spencer Dale Group Chief Economist, BP Plc
Catherina Tanna Managing Director, Energy Australia
Richard Gross CEO, Ausgrid
The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP Minister for Energy, Victoria
Frank Calabria CEO, Origin Energy
Jane Norman Head of Gas Commercialisation, Santos
Rod Sims Chairman, ACCC
Sandra James Energy Partner, Deloitte
Shaun Gregory EVP Exploration & CTO, Woodside
Gerard Reiter Executive Manager, TransGrid
Alison Reeve Taskforce Leader, National Hydrogen Strategy
The Hon Bill Johnston MLA Minister for Energy, Western Australia
Richard Wrightson Executive General Manager Wholesale Markets, AGL
Steve Davy CEO, Hydro Tasmania
Alex Wonhas Chief System Design and Engineering Officer, AEMO
Jeanne Johns Managing Director & CEO, Incitec Pivot Limited
REGISTER NOW www.afrenergy.com.au
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RENEWABLES ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
PINPOINTING DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
FOR RESIDENTIAL SOLAR
Sometimes the greatest view is the one from the top, and for solar installers looking to grow their market share, this is absolutely the case. By providing installers with high resolution aerial imagery, Nearmap is helping its clients identify valuable solar leads without the need for site visits, saving time and money.
t’s official: Australia’s residential rooftop solar market is on the rise, with no signs of slowing down. Last December, the Clean Energy Council marked the installation of rooftop solar power in two million homes across Australia, up from a mere 20,000 ten years ago. The rising number of installations is being fuelled by improvements in large- and small-scale energy storage, and decreasing costs to consumers brought about by improving economies of scale. The trend is also helped by a number of state-sponsored rebates available for household and small business installation of renewable energy systems such as PV or wind, making the ROI for homeowners even more attractive. In a sign that solar is here to stay, several large-scale solar farms are underway, and while clear public policies around renewables are still emerging, the demand for solar across Australia is surging. But while solar uptake across Australia continues to grow at an impressive rate, 80 per cent of Australian households are yet to benefit from the savings rooftop solar PV cells can bring, which leaves plenty of room for expansion. And the reality is, the solar companies who can most efficiently and accurately service new residential customers will be the most competitive in the new renewables landscape. Retaining a competitive edge will rely on a range of industry-disrupting technologies, including current, high resolution aerial imagery. How does aerial imagery help solar operators? The obvious question is this: how does the view from the top help solar installers on the ground? The answer is staggeringly simple. Current aerial photos help solar installers prospect for solar leads; produce quick, accurate quotes; and confidently estimate labour and material requirements. Top solar providers are already leveraging the power of aerial views of properties to keep up with Australia’s appetite for renewables. Another way solar retailers use current, clear aerial imagery is in visually impressive, polished proposals. With regularly updated aerial maps, solar installers can present a design shown in the context of the client's home — in its current condition. It's a persuasive tool for closing the deal, and is far more professional than a drawing or a design presented on low resolution, outdated satellite maps.
Accurate and efficient technology National Renewable Group (NRG Solar Services) is a solar solution provider in South Australia that's seen the benefits of aerial imagery first-hand. NRG uses aerial imagery from Nearmap, an industry-leading aerial imagery and location data company, to plan and inspect locations remotely – a process which has saved them at least 25 hours a week. The use of aerial imagery has also provided NRG Solar Services with the ability to prepare and present high-quality quotes, with estimates including kilowatt output, for their valued customers. NRG Solar Services state sales manager Darren Vonthethoff explained, “With Nearmap’s image accuracy and powerful solar tools, we can quickly develop a high-quality quotation via a web browser instead of relying on manual calculations. This has enhanced our credibility as a leading solar solution provider.” The use of Nearmap aerial imagery can help streamline solar projects by allowing providers to design the most suitable solar solution for their customers, including accurate estimates for material and labour requirements. A wider reach By accessing Nearmap via a web browser, NRG Solar Services can extend their reach to rural customers and provide precise quotes over the phone. The ability to provide exact quotes over the phone cuts down on labour costs and makes the sales team more efficient by cutting down time-intensive site visits. “Labour is the major expense for our business. But with Nearmap, we are much more efficient,” Mr Vonthethoff said. “It is a very rare event to get our estimate wrong with Nearmap. Our staff can spend more time on valuable tasks rather than fixing issues or doing non-paid jobs.” Solar providers such as National Renewable Group will continue to use innovative technology from Nearmap to maintain a competitive edge in the growing Australian solar energy market. “I would not want to go back to the days without Nearmap,” said Mr Vonthethoff.
If You’re Considering Adding Updated Aerial Maps To Your Solar Lead Workflow, There Are Four Key Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing An Aerial Imagery Solution: Currency. Current imagery guarantees that you’re seeing the real condition of the home and roof — so on-site surprises are minimised. Accuracy. Your aerial imagery solution should be as high resolution as possible, to ensure that measurements you make on the imagery are accurate. Ease of access. Cloud-based aerial imagery that you can view in a web app — as opposed to one-off imagery datasets that you have to integrate into your own software — means that your aerial imagery is “always on.” Coverage. An aerial imagery source with wide-scale, consistent coverage of Australia’s most populated areas means solar companies can instantly survey the solar hot spots and identify the areas of greatest opportunity.
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TURN ON THE JUICE FOR YOUR SOLAR BUSINESS WITH AERIAL IMAGERY .5°
Integrate current, high-res aerial imagery of your residential and commercial markets into your workflow. • Accurately measure roof pitch and area, building heights, radius, line, and width right in your browser • Assess in an hour what it would have taken an entire day of site visits to accomplish • Stay off the roads, and save on petrol, insurance, and labour costs Replace endless site visits, and win more business while lowering costs.
REQUEST A NEARMAP DEMO SMS ‘SOLAR’ TO 0418 443 202 nearmap.com | 1800 632 762
Captured: 01/07/2019 Morisset, NSW
RENEWABLES ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
CUTTING A PATH TOWARDS
A RENEWABLE FUTURE For a family-owned company like WEA Group, researching and selecting the right equipment is imperative to allow the company to expand its capabilities and profitability. Recognising the opportunities that an additional trencher to their fleet would offer, WEA Group researched and trialled a number of machines before deciding on procuring a Vermeer T755 Trencher.
EA Group has been providing underground cabling and civil works for renewable energy projects across the country since 2015. In 2019, the company decided to procure a Vermeer T755 Trencher to compliment its fleet. James McLeod, Director at WEA Group, said, “We own all of our own plant and equipment now. The trencher was the last item on the list, so we are fully self-catered, which is very rare nowadays. A lot of companies are still hiring plant and equipment, so we’re very proud of that.
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“We used to hire a trencher, and being able to purchase one has reduced our internal costs. It’s given us more flexibility for when we can actually use the trencher, as well as where we can use it, because obviously we’ve got the flexibility of now being able to move it around a lot more. “It’s really complemented the fleet, helped our productivity, and made us more efficient as well.”
Research key to decision making Mr McLeod said the company researched and trialled a number of different trenchers before selecting the Vermeer T755. “We conducted significant research into what different brands of trenchers were out there, so we looked at some of Vermeer’s competitors too. We also looked at bucket wheels, rock wheels, plus other models and machines within the Vermeer offering,” Mr McLeod said. “We did a lot of research and several trials, with the T955 and the T1055, down to the T558 but we found the T755 was the best for our needs.” Mr McLeod said there were a number of reasons the company chose the T755. “The main reason we went for the T755 was because of its fuel consumption and reliability. We also looked at factors like how close the nearest service centres were for Vermeer,” Mr McLeod said. “We loved the fact we could get someone out on-site to do a service, or maintenance if there was ever a fault or an issue, which was a big factor for us as well. We wanted to not only reduce our carbon footprint, but to reduce any downtime if there was an issue with the machine.” A major feature of the T755 that appealed to WEA Group was its Auto Self Levelling system, which allows the machine to operate on a slight tilt while keeping the trench straight. “This feature is extremely important when working on wind farms because unfortunately they don’t build wind farms on flat ground, they’re up and down mountains and hillsides.
ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT RENEWABLES
“Its versatility on different types of terrain was extremely important to us, as well as the dual system on the chain and dual sprocket system to help stop chains slipping or the chain falling off, which reduces downtime. “It’s a big investment. We’re only a small family company, so it’s very important that we got it right.”
Putting the trencher through its paces Mr McLeod said that the company put the trencher to work straight away on a wind farm, and within a week it had already covered a lot of land. “It’s currently on the Lal Lal Wind Farm project cutting a 450m by 1100m deep trench down in Victoria. It’s going up hills and down dales; it’s done some interesting little bits already,” Mr McLeod said. “It’s done the dam wall crossing, it's done quite a number of V drain crossings, and a little water crossing already. It’s definitely done a lot. It’s probably trenched about 3500m in one week, so it's been busy.”
“He’s helped us get the right suppliers for the teeth and made sure that we set up a service vehicle. So we bought an Isuzu medium rigid truck, we set it up with a crane, oil pumps, and all the equipment needed to make the plant run at top form. Everything we needed to run that machine. “Generally he helped with how to get the best out of the machine and helped source the best suppliers for the machine.” Mr McLeod said his experience with the Vermeer customer service team and the quality products has led WEA Group to look into potentially purchasing more equipment from Vermeer in the future. “We’re currently looking at procuring more equipment from Vermeer as we are looking to expand into different areas. It’s definitely on the cards for the future of the company.”
The importance of customer service Mr McLeod said the team at Vermeer has made the process of procuring the trencher easier, and made sure that the company had all the information it needed to get the most out of their new equipment. “I can’t speak highly enough of Ken. He really assisted in areas that we were unsure about as we’ve never owned a trencher before,” Mr McLeod said of Vermeer Product Specialist Ken Smith.
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EQUIPMENT ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
MORE GAS, LESS COST: BRINGING GAS TO MARKET QUICKLY WHILE REDUCING PROJECT COSTS
September 2019 ISSUE 7
ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT EQUIPMENT
The markets for oil and gas development in the US and Canada are going through significant change right now, leading to a multitude of surplus processing equipment on the global market. Wade Elofson, of Powered Australia, has taken note of these market changes and has established a product import model that has the potential to save developers in the Australian market millions of dollars.
nvestment in Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry has declined consistently from 2014 through to 2018, and a number of explorers and developers are shutting down their Canadian operations. As a result, they have a considerable inventory of used equipment, such as natural gas compressors, that they’re keen to re-home. Meanwhile, in the US, the size of the market is so large that developers often end up over-ordering on their equipment needs – in this case, resulting in surplus equipment available to the market. Recognising the inherent opportunity in this situation, Wade Elofson, Founder and Managing Director of Powered Australia, has partnered with Raj Singh, CEO of Fuelled, a Canadian based business focused on selling surplus oil and gas equipment, to bring some of this surplus and excess equipment to Australia. The ultimate end goal of this partnership is threefold, according to Mr Elofson. Firstly, Australian project developers gain access to equipment such as compressors and process skids at a fraction of the original cost. Secondly, developers are able to source equipment for their projects quickly and efficiently – where you might wait 12 months between ordering a new compressor package with unique specifications and delivery, when you order through Powered and Fuelled, the equipment is available and delivered to Australian meeting local within a few months. Thirdly, Powered is able to adapt the equipment to ensure it is Australiancompliant and ready to go as soon as it arrives on site – in fact, they guarantee the equipment they important meets Australian standards and specifications. According to Mr Elofson, developers looking to use this equipment sourcing model can purchase equipment for around 30 per cent of the original purchase price – and when the original purchase price is in the millions of dollars, the savings are incredibly significant. In fact, they can be the difference between a project getting off the ground or not. “In Australia right now, whether a project goes ahead or not is such a marginal decision. Anything that can help lower the cost of production needs to be looked at; and if it’s not being looked at, that’s being irresponsible. “We’re offering equipment with Caterpillar engines, Walkinshaw engines, Ariel compressors – it’s all the names you already know and trust. In some cases, this equipment hasn’t even been used before. In the North America, the size of the market is so enormous, that developers are regularly putting orders in for equipment that ends up being surplus to their requirements. And when this happens, these developers know they can work with Fuelled in the US and Canada and Powered here in Australia to find their surplus equipment a new home where it will be put to very good use.” Changing markets According to Mr Elofson, in North America, there’s always been a pretty significant used and surplus equipment market for equipment in the oil and gas industry. “In Canada, in particular, it’s all about cost savings. It’s never been looked down upon to buy a surplus piece of equipment, it’s just the way business is done.” In Australia, it’s been a slightly different story, particularly in recent years. With the coal seam gas and LNG markets booming, the focus was more on supplying as much highly specified equipment as possible.
Now, the market has changed – we’re not in boom time anymore, we’re in an operations phase of the development cycle. And with the Queensland LNG contracts not being as profitable as they once were, cost-cutting is firmly on the agenda for developers in Australia. And one of the biggest costs for oil and gas projects is equipment sales – compressors and process equipment have always made a significant dent on the bottom line for any project. When cost savings can be made in sourcing this equipment, it goes without saying that it’s going to have a big impact on profitability.
Sourcing equipment Fuelled has developed an easy to navigate website, as well as an app, so that oil and gas project developers can quickly and easily review the inventory of equipment the company currently has available. Users can search by equipment type, condition and location, along with a range of other categories, to try and source the right piece of equipment for their project. When Australian developers find the piece of equipment they’re after, they just get in touch with Mr Elofson and the team from Powered, who can work through all of the steps required to bring the particular piece of equipment to site. “The unique benefit we’re able to offer to Australian E&Ps through our partnership with Fuelled is access to the biggest fleet of compressors and process skids in the world,” said Mr Elofson. “Through the website, our local energy companies get complete visibility of where the equipment is, and what it costs. There’s videos, there’s pictures, there’s everything you need to show you exactly what each piece of equipment is. “When the customers are ready, we organise the sale of the equipment and the delivery to site, so the process is as simple as possible. There are also rental options as well – it’s all about helping developers in Australia get gas to market as quickly as possible.” What Powered and Fuelled are offering through this partnership is not just access to high quality equipment at an affordable price; but they are also offering energy explorers in the Australian market a fast and efficient way to get gas to market, through well-priced equipment that can be delivered to site within months. Which is exactly what’s needed in a market where gas is in short supply, but increased demand.
To review the full range of equipment available through the Fuelled and Powered partnership, head to https://fuelled.com/. For more information about how Powered can help you bring this equipment to the Australian market, contact Wade Elofson on email@example.com or on 0474 128 517.
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ASSET INSPECTION AND DRONES/UAVS
Operating and maintaining an electricity network that covers 737,000 square kilometres of landmass with 183,612km of powerline is no easy feat, especially when it requires continuous monitoring and servicing by field employees â€“ a time-consuming and sometimes dangerous task. Essential Energy has tackled the safety and operational challenge by utilising drone technology to manage its vast assets.
LOOKING TO THE SKIES:
USING DRONE TECHNOLOGY FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT 52
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ASSET INSPECTION AND DRONES/UAVS
ssential Energy builds, operates and maintains one of Australia’s largest electricity distribution networks, servicing more than 855,000 customers across regional, rural and remote NSW, and parts of southern Queensland. Essential Energy’s footprint includes 1.38 million power poles, equating to 1.6 power poles per customer. Since the first drone trial in 2016, Essential Energy has utilised the technology to access environments or assets which are considered difficult to reach, time consuming or expensive for maintenance inspections. Since then, drone technology has advanced considerably and has enabled Essential Energy to now collect data on thermal imagery, conductor restringing and wind analytics. A range of applications Drones fitted with image sensors and thermal sensors have enabled Essential Energy to make observations about high-voltage conductors and low-voltage service connections. The technology can capture multiple datasets in one operation and gives asset inspectors the ability to detect faulty connections on high-voltage conductors or low-voltage services connections. Essential Energy is also utilising drone technology during reconductoring practices in areas which contain creeks, rivers and difficult terrain that would normally restrict crews. A small pilot line can be attached to the drone, pulled across the span and draped over the structures where crews are able to attach a large pilot line or conductor and complete the process. This process is highly useful in fault and emergency scenarios as it allows crews to complete repairs and restore electricity supply quickly and effectively without the expense of helicopter services. Essential Energy’s Chief Remote Pilot – Drone Operations, Brendan Tucker, said the technology greatly reduces the restoration time. “We’re able to get the drone up in the air and move it across the site a lot quicker than it would be to engage a full-sized helicopter. The other advantages are cost efficiency by not costing us thousands of dollars an hour to run a helicopter, plus greatly reducing the risks associated with aerial inspections,” said Mr Tucker. “Previously, if we had to fly to remote areas, obviously that would result in a considerable cost, but with portable drones, and with numerous operators around the business footprint, we’re able to engage those guys and have remote inspections completed a lot more efficiently.” The ability to quickly and cost-effectively assess the electricity network is especially important for disaster management such as for bushfires. Mr Tucker said that technology gives them access to the areas which may be inaccessible after an event. “If we’ve got fallen trees it’s not safe to send crews. Being able to send a drone in, within CASA’s regulations, gives us an insight as to what’s going on there. We can identify and assess any damage to the assets. “If there’s no damage then obviously we can re-allocate our resources to those areas that have been impacted the most, therefore reducing the outage times.” The use of drones has also had a positive impact on the safety of Essential Energy’s asset management practices, with employees no longer at risk when observing difficult aspects of the network. In the area of Live HV Transmission inspections, what previously may take around 40 minutes for Essential Energy to set up and inspect a structure, can now be completed with three minutes utilising a drone. “We estimate the drone is about 60 per cent more efficient compared with traditional methods of inspecting these structures, and gives an added insight into safety risks,” Mr Tucker said. “For example, termite damage or cross-arm deterioration may be detected from an aerial drone view that couldn’t be identified from below, so you don’t want line workers on that structure performing any tasks.”
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ASSET INSPECTION AND DRONES/UAVS
One of Essential Energy's drones takes flight.
Drone footage quickly highlights the value of this program. A visual inspection of these assets from the ground would indicate the cross-arms are in good condition, but the drone images indicate that’s not the case.
Embracing the new technology As with any introduction of new technology, there were early adopters and others who took a bit longer to embrace the idea of doing inspections via drones. “Any initial hesitation towards the technology has turned completely around into enthusiasm and a real understanding of the safety and operational benefits,” Mr Tucker said. “A number of asset inspectors are being trained and incorporated into our asset inspection cycle program and we’re working to ensure the capability is extended across the team. “The perspective offered by the drones gives inspectors a greater understanding of the condition of the assets so at the end of the day, they can make a better decision.” Where the wind blows Essential Energy has also used their drones to record a significant amount of
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data during flight, including flight control analytics, battery health and air pressure. The correlation of the data combined with special software allows the Essential Energy engineers to access an accurate wind profile map for each asset. This new capability is particularly useful when determining loadings on a structure, providing a better understanding of the asset environment. Previous data was sourced from airports, which could be up to 100km away from the asset site. The data is then utilised to create an understanding of what the asset life cycle could look like. “Up around Jindabyne, NSW, we have a high wind area, and a lot of vibration through the line,” said Mr Tucker. “So the data captured by the drone while we’re on site gives us a fuller picture of what’s actually happening there. We are now gaining a better understanding of the different environments that impact our network.” The data has also been incredibly important when developing new projects and during the construction of infrastructure. “Being able to capture that data straight away for our engineers will be of great use for future projects in the area,” Mr Tucker said.
An airborne future The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is the government body which regulates aviation safety and enforces the current drones’ regulations. Mr Tucker is confident that regulations governing drone operation will become more flexible in the future, possibly making the use of the technology around the urban environment a viable option. Conducting asset condition evaluations around highly populated areas will ultimately make it easier for asset inspectors to deliver a safer and more reliable network for the community. “Currently, operating within 30 metres of people presents a safety risk so the current guidelines don’t allow it. That’s not a big deal when we’re dealing with rural feeders, but in the future it would be great to be able to use drones to capture urban feeders as well. “Once everyone is comfortable that the application of drone technology is safe and reliable, then conducting aerial inspections in the full range of environments will become even more effective, efficient and adopted,” said Mr Tucker.
EECON 2019 Engineering Leadership Providing Sustainable, Customer-Centric Electric Energy Solutions Through The Interactive Grid.
The Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA) takes great pleasure in inviting you to EECON 2019 at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 26-27 November 2019. EECON 2019 brings together more than 250 delegates from all aspects of the electric energy area across Australia and overseas, to share information on the many changes impacting electricity. This conference will examine the adoption and integration of the many new technologies to deliver sustainable, affordable and reliable energy. The need for all segments of the industry to work together to deliver these outcomes for the benefit of all stakeholders will be explored.
Earlybird Pricing $850 per person available until the 17th of September 2019. REGISTER NOW AT WWW.EECON2019.COM
NOV 26-27 | SYDNEY International Convention Centre Sydney WWW.EECON2019.COM
ASSET INSPECTION AND DRONES/UAVS ENERGY PARTNER CONTENT
AI AND MACHINE LEARNING ARE THE FUTURE
FOR DRONE-BASED ASSET INSPECTIONS Now is an exciting time to be in the energy industry. Major technological advancements in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are changing how asset inspections are conducted; and drone solutions are replacing difficult and hazardous manual inspections for electrical transmission and distribution lines, significantly reducing time and cost.
he question that naturally follows from this statement is have business processes improved to match these advances? With the advent of new data capture technology, large amounts of data are now being generated. The real challenge is in processing and converting this data into actionable insights. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are set to transform the energy industry, by digitising its asset inspection and asset management. AI-driven drone solutions for better efficiency According to Tony Gilbert, CEO of Aerodyne Australia, their global energy clients have seen tremendous improvements in data capture, processing and analytics. Aerodyne's proprietary application, vertikalitiGRID, uses AI and machine learning to automatically detect and analyse any issues. Processing time for each item is drastically reduced – from minutes to just seconds. “We are very confident in our AI capability. We've built it quite rigorously over the past two years since we started this journey. Tens of thousands of poles have gone through the model and the results have been surprisingly accurate – in fact we have not yet missed a single defect with vertikalitiGRID.” vertikalitiGRID is an end-to-end cloudbased asset management solution that provides a holistic understanding of asset health and performance. It is GIS-based and provides customers with an in-depth view of the condition of each asset, with clear annotated marking of defects, allowing quick planning and mobilisation of maintenance teams for troubleshooting and repairs.
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20 per cent cost savings, 500 per cent time savings Aerodyne has inspected more than 250,000 assets and over 32,150km of powerlines globally around Asia, South America and Europe. Despite the large volume of data, Aerodyne has changed the game for its clients, allowing them to enjoy a 20 per cent cost saving and 500 per cent increase in efficiency. This enables them to
asset maintenance and verification. “We have been gearing up to deliver our solutions to the Australian market,” Mr Gilbert said. “As a global player, we understand the challenges and we have what it takes to manage the intricacies of aerial inspection operations for asset-heavy customers. “Our ability to scale our operations to meet demand, both in Drones-As-A-Service operations and in Software-As-A-Service
inspect a larger volume of assets for their clients. “We remove the hassle of processing terabytes of data from our clients so they can focus on the important stuff," Mr Gilbert said. “The ability of vertikalitiGRID to integrate with existing enterprise resource planning software is also appreciated by our clients, who don't want to have to deal with multiple asset management systems.” For one major energy company in Asia, Aerodyne has successfully reduced the 30 day inspection cycle for 1000 poles down to just seven days. This time-frame includes Aerodyne using its in-house expertise for data analysis, QA/QC and inspection planning, so the client now can focus on
data processing is now mature. We are very excited to offer our capabilities and we look forward to opportunities to work with energy companies here.”
ABOUT AERODYNE GROUP Aerodyne Group is a world-leading AI driven, drone-based enterprise solution provider with presence and operations in 25 countries and the support of over 270 experienced pilots. Aerodyne’s AI-driven enterprise solutions vertikaliti, myPRISM and others are already deployed for major projects in the power, renewables, oil and gas, telecommunications, construction, agriculture and infrastructure industries and beyond. Aerodyne Australia is a subsidiary of Aerodyne Group. To find out more, head to www.aerodyne.com.au or call 1800 931 866.
Power Grids accredited
Industry leading annual flight operations
Total Infrastructure critical assets inspected and managed
Powerline distance inspected
Enterprise Intelligence & Analytics Edge AI Processing Turnkey Enterprise Application (Cloud & Mobility) Integration with existing ERP installations
Reduction in inspection time of up to Cost savings of up to
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AUSTRALIA’S LEADING UTILITY ASSET MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS TO GATHER IN SYDNEY From 20–21 August at Swissôtel in Sydney, Australia’s leading experts across the utility and infrastructure sectors will assemble to take part in the nation’s fastest-growing asset management event and discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in the space.
he nature of the utility and infrastructure sectors is constantly shifting. Changing industry standards, Australia’s growing population and the effects of climate change are placing new pressures on asset managers; yet at the same time, new technologies are revolutionising the way we maintain and optimise our critical assets. Amidst such transformation, it’s now more important than ever that asset managers have access to the latest information and the newest approaches. Now in its third year, the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition is the place to be for updates on projects, processes and technologies to better manage Australia’s critical assets. Over two days in August, the event will feature individual presentations, industry panels, networking sessions and targeted topic streams, providing attendees with practical applications to improve the way assets are managed. Created by Monkey Media, the team behind Utility magazine, as well as other industry events including Digital Utilities and Smart Cities, the event will provide all the latest industry news and sector issues in a live format, with senior managers from power and water utilities, and infrastructure asset owners around Australia attending. The speaker lineup includes representatives from utilities including: Sydney Water, Icon Water, Western Power, Powerlink, Jemena, ElectraNet, Infrastructure Australia, KPMG Australia, the ARTC, VicTrack, the Institute of Quality Asset Management and more. Meet our speakers Romilly Madew AO, CEO, Infrastructure Australia Having led the Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years, Romilly is recognised around the world as a leader and advocate for change in the property and construction sector, earning an Order of Australia for her service. As the new
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CEO of Australia’s peak infrastructure authority, Romilly brings a broader understanding of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Romilly’s keynote presentation will examine the ways asset managers can mitigate risk and develop comprehensive, long-term resilience strategies in the face of new challenges. Dr Penny Burns, Chair, Talking Infrastructure Association Penny is an infrastructure economist and asset management strategist who invented the modern idea of asset management in Australia. Her extensive industry experience includes roles as a foundation board member of the Asset Management Council, two decades as Editor and Publisher of AMQ International’s Strategic Asset Management, as well as direct ministerial and parliamentary review and advice. Her presentation, Exploring the role of the future asset management strategist, will explore how asset managers can develop the right skills and ask the right questions to manage assets in the 21st century. Carlos Gamez, Strategic Asset Performance Manager, Western Power Carlos is a well-recognised electrical engineer and has worked across design engineering, product development, manufacturing, technology, software development and field engineering. In 2007, Carlos moved to Perth to start up the Transformer Division at General Electric, before accepting the position of Principal Consultant with Assetivity in 2011, where he worked on projects within the Asset Management frameworks which eventually shaped the ISO 55000 set of standards. In 2014, Carlos joined the MM Group to grow the TxMonitor business unit. He then moved to Western Power in 2016 as Team Leader of Operational Asset Performance and then transferred into the role of Technical Lead of one of the Corporate Strategic Initiatives.
A new and improved program Each year, we refine the conference program based on feedback from past delegates and Utility readers who tell us what topics they want explored in depth. In 2019, the event will feature four dedicated streams exploring the biggest issues facing asset managers. These streams are: Case studies and the implementation of ISO 55000 This year, we’re introducing a brand new stream presenting case studies and practical advice on the ISO 55000 standards. Panellists include: Tammy Falconer, Head of Asset Knowledge, Sydney Water Having delivered solutions to millions of customers throughout her career, Tammy has a deep knowledge of how to drive change in both state-owned corporations and public sector organisations in order to meet ever-climbing asset management standards. Matt Henson, Asset Management Systems Manager, Jemena With an exclusively utilities-based career, Matt will bring crucial firsthand experience from Jemena’s journey towards certification in ISO 55001 and ISO 27001. Tom Carpenter, CEO of the Institute of Quality Asset Management (IQ-AM) and Director, Asset Management Council As a founding member of the ISO committee that developed the ISO 55000/1/2 standards, Tom’s insights will be invaluable to the panel, offering the perspective of those creating and reviewing regulatory compliance frameworks. Inspection and condition monitoring In another new dedicated stream, panellists will discuss the technologies and approaches revolutionising inspection and condition monitoring processes. Speakers include: Katherine Larkings, Team Leader – Asset Strategy and Investment, Icon Water Katherine has a list of major achievements in asset planning and www.energymagazine.com.au
The 2019 Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference will run from 20–21 August at Swissôtel in Sydney. Register at assetmanagementevent.com.au. If you’re interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the event, you can download the prospectus on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
development of water infrastructure, including overseeing a major upgrade to Icon Water’s condition assessment program. Matthew Primmer, Planning and Asset Development Manager, Port of Melbourne With responsibilities across a broad range of infrastructure assets, Matthew will focus on asset management systems and strategic planning frameworks for port facilities.
Managing renewable and energy assets This dedicated stream is a must-attend for professionals in the energy sector, examining asset management at the intersection of the physical infrastructure, digital utilities and networks. Panellists include: Lutfiye Manli, Senior Asset Management Strategy Advisor, Powerlink Queensland With a PhD in Engineering Asset Management and over ten years’ experience in managing energy assets, Lutfiye has a comprehensive understanding of new ideas, approaches and changes in the sector. Rohan Fernandez, Manager – Strategic Asset Management, ElectraNet Having accrued extensive experience working on optimising asset management practices within the technology domain, with a particular focus on cyber security, Rohan is well-placed to speak about enhancing our thinking in the energy space. Sarah Hannah, Head of Asset Systems (Interim), Group Operations, AGL Sarah is not your typical asset manager. She is responsible for the asset management systems across Australia’s largest portfolio of power generators. Whilst Sarah comes from a chemical and process engineering background, she brings a human touch to the industry. Sarah lives the value that people are our most www.energymagazine.com.au
important asset and bringing them along on the asset management journey is not an option, it’s essential. The dedicated stream on asset management in the rail sector will also return in 2019 with a focus on the newest developments in the sector. Speakers in this stream include Brian Green, General Manager – Asset Management, The Australian Rail Track Corporation and Dr Collette Burke, Chief Engineer of Victoria and Director at VicTrack. Steve Doran, Director, Infrastream, will be the MC for the conference, bringing his vast asset management experience to connect the presentation and really cement the topics in delegates minds. Dr Andrew O’Connor, Partner – Engineering and Asset Management, KPMG Australia, is also a special guest this year and will moderate two of the panel streams. Other speakers also include Tommy Viljoen, Leading Partner, Cyber Security Strategy and Governance at Deloitte Australia, who will explore how organisations can manage critical infrastructure cyber attack risk, and Dr Michael Moffatt, Principal Technology Leader, National Leader Infrastructure Management, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB).
The biggest issues in asset management In addition to the four targeted streams, we will also take a closer look at new asset management technologies and digital solutions, as well as methodological approaches and strategies behind those technologies. Topics that will be covered include: »» Data collection and analytics »» Creating digital asset strategies »» Protecting critical assets from cyber attacks »» Internet of Things »» Strategic asset management plans
»» »» »» »»
Planning best practice New assets vs maintaining existing assets Skills of the future and future asset manager capabilities And much more
A conference for industry professionals The event brings together senior leaders and C-suite level decision-makers from Australian utilities, infrastructure asset owners, industry associations, consultancies and government. Last year’s event saw delegates from Sydney Water, Ausgrid, V/Line, Queensland Urban Utilities, Powerlink, Transport for NSW, Jemena, Port Authority NSW, Ergon, Energy Queensland, Pacific National, Essential Energy, Sunwater, City West Water, Origin Energy, SA Water, Port of Melbourne, KPMG, Infrastructure Australia, nbn co, TransGrid, WaterNSW, among others. Learn from other sectors In order to truly optimise your current practices and operations, it’s often essential to see what others both within and beyond the utility sector are doing. That’s why Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure is the only asset management event in Australia that sees different sectors — from water to power, rail, roads and transport — come together to give delegates the opportunity to hear about each other’s successes and learn from their mistakes. Curated networking sessions will allow you to not only speak with other people in your field, but also hear how other industries are dealing with similar asset management problems. With a comprehensive and multi-sector approach to conferencing, the event is sure to equip delegates with new perspectives and ideas to take back to the office.
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STRATEGIES FOR THE RESILIENCE OF OUR As a variety of challenges cast uncertainty over the future of Australia’s infrastructure, it is now more important than ever to develop comprehensive resilience strategies for our assets. Here, Chief Executive of Infrastructure Australia, Romilly Madew, outlines key ways asset managers can mitigate risk and plan for greater long-term resilience.
s Australia’s infrastructure chief, Romilly Madew’s role is to understand the broader picture of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Having observed unprecedented risks from shifts in technology, the economy, user preferences and climate change, Ms Madew believes Australia’s assets are facing a period of unique uncertainty, impacting how they are managed now and into the future. For Ms Madew, the benefits enjoyed during Australia’s infrastructure boom — larger and more complex networks, greater international trade, the uptake of new technologies — are set to bring new challenges for asset managers, including around Australia’s ever-increasing digital networks. “Digital connectivity is changing the way infrastructure services are delivered,” Ms Madew said. “However, as the complexity of networked systems grows, so too does the potential for failures and disruptions that are more difficult to predict and more pervasive in their impact. “Technological change is also impacting consumer demand, placing some assets under increased strain or making others no longer fit-for-purpose.” Ahead of her keynote presentation at the 2019 Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, taking place 20–21 August in Sydney, Ms Madew said Australia’s greater exposure to global markets also poses economic risks. “Competition from growing and developing Asian nations can cause uncertainty in demand for domestic supply chains and freight hubs, while changing trade conditions could impact our infrastructure networks.” Having led the Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years, Ms Madew also knows better than most the significant risks brought on by more severe, unpredictable climate conditions.
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“Much of our existing infrastructure faces new and challenging conditions, such as higher temperatures, changed stream flows, rainfall, water availability and soil conditions, more intense bushfires, more extreme winds, and rising sea levels, causing coastal inundation and erosion.”
Are our assets resilient enough? Despite the mounting challenges facing the sector, Ms Madew said Australia’s resilience strategies provide limited guidance for Australian asset managers. “Planning for resilience requires a comprehensive risk assessment, and an understanding of the potential social, economic and environmental costs of outages, damage, disruption or failure,” she said. A common challenge is a lack of information about the scale of risks, their impacts and the costs of addressing them. This is particularly important in a rapidly changing environment, where risks are shifting in nature and severity. “Understanding the scale of potential threats, their impacts and the costs of addressing them is therefore critical to proactively respond to both short and long-term risks to infrastructure assets and networks.” Infrastructure Australia’s forthcoming release, the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit, calls for clear, publicly available guidance for the infrastructure sector on how to manage risk and plan for greater resilience in the future, reflecting new dependencies and technologies such as the Internet of Things, blockchain and drones. The audit will highlight how anticipating and mitigating against ever-changing risks to infrastructure is becoming more difficult as assets and networks become more interdependent and complex.
Increasing resilience It is clear that these changes and increasing pressures mean that infrastructure projects must meet new standards of sustainability, security and resilience. Ms Madew outlined a number of key strategies for asset managers to prepare for future conditions. “Planning for 2020 and beyond must involve comprehensive resilience strategies that reflect whole-oflifecycle benefits and costs, and these considerations need to be fed back into the planning, design and operation of assets and networks. “Building and operating assets more efficiently can minimise the impact of infrastructure on the local and broader environment and reduce the total footprint of structures over their asset lives.” Ms Madew noted it is significantly more cost-effective to build with risks to sustainability, security and resilience in mind, rather than try and mitigate it later on. “Looking to the future, we should embrace the opportunity to lead the world in applying sustainability-enhancing approaches to Australian infrastructure assets and networks.”
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AN UNPRECEDE In June, almost 50 million people were left without power in Argentina. Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon takes a closer look at the events causing this catastrophic blackout, and considers the likelihood of an event like this occurring in Australia.
ow can a significantly interconnected grid with high levels of synchronous generation just collapse? That’s what happened on Father’s Day, 16 June 2019, in Argentina. At 7.07am, a failure on the grid left about 48 million people in the dark. The learnings from Argentina’s mistakes may help Australia strengthen its own grid. What happened to make the grid go down? Expenditure on Argentina’s grid had been cut for some time. Transmission faults were known to occur causing partial blackouts. The grid collapse, in this case, was catastrophic. Customers were left in the dark and were requested to limit water use. The extent of the disruption can be seen by a massive drop in demand, Figure 1, which slowly recovers 12 hours later. Preliminary views suggest that problems on two 500kV transmission lines disrupted the flow of electricity from two hydroschemes. A short circuit disconnected a 500kV transmission line that runs from the city of Colonia Elía to Belgrano in Buenos Aires. It appears at the same time an automated system disconnected a 500kV line that runs from Mercedes to Colonia Elía. A third 500kV transmission line had been out of service since mid-April to
Figure 1. Demand drop following blackout (Source: IEEE Spectrum).
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relocate a tower. Water levels in the Yacyreta Dam and Salto Grande Dam were high. Early Sunday morning both of these hydroelectric facilities were producing electricity at near maximum capacity, although demand was low. A further 1000MW was being imported across the interconnector from Brazil on a high voltage direct current link. This meant that with one line down, high levels of power were being transferred south on the remaining lines. It is possible that transient instability occurred in the north-west region and the Yacyreta hydro plant (3700 MW) tripped, possibly causing a fast frequency drop. It appears that the Salto Grande hydro plant (1900 MW) also tripped due to instability. The 500kV lines to the Buenos Aires load centre went down, due to the large deficit in generation. Frequency plummeted, and the system collapsed. It would be expected that the automated systems in place to
Illustration of South American transmission lines (Source: IEEE Spectrum).
NTED BLACKOUT – OR WAS IT?
by Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Networks Australia
shed load or generation to suit demand should have isolated the issue associated with a short circuit. It is not yet clear why this didn’t occur. The Argentinean President Marci has promised a full investigation of the incident. No report had been released at the time of writing.
How do our grids compare and what can we learn? Argentina has a higher level of synchronous generation and a lower level of renewables compared with Australia. It also has more interconnectors and a higher level of meshing than we do. Australia’s grid operates with much higher penetration of variable renewables. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has investigated major incidents across the world to learn from them, and no doubt will be doing the same in the case of Argentina. Australia’s grid is rapidly transforming from relatively few large coal generators to more widely distributed and renewable energy sources. Control schemes may need to be reviewed in light of an evolving, more dynamic grid. Australia’s historical electricity demand is 33 per cent greater than Argentina’s and on a
per capita basis, is 140 per cent higher. Both countries rely on interconnection. Though we may not know the final conclusions for some time, it’s likely a critical transmission failure resulted in 48 million customers in Argentina losing power.
HISTORICAL DEMAND (MW
PER MILLION OF POPULATION)
Comparison of installed capacity and demand in Australia and Argentina.
Comparison of Australia’s and Argentina’s electricity grids (Source: AEMO).
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STRENGTH, INTEGRITY AND RESILIENCE â€“
BUILDING THE ATLAS GAS PIPELINE
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Natural gas is used daily in Australian homes, businesses and institutions, for a variety of applications including temperature control, hot water and cooking. With almost five million homes and businesses connected to gas1, providing the energy source quickly and effectively to communities is a priority.
he Atlas Gas Pipeline (Atlas) is a joint project between Senex Energy and Jemena, and is Queensland’s first domestic-only gas supply. The project is part of the Queensland Government’s first domestic gas acreage tender, an initiative to increase the supply of gas on the east coast and ensure energy security. The pipeline, which Jemena will build, own and operate, will be 60km long and coated in eight inch steel. The gas processing facility and pipeline will then 1
connect the facility to the existing Senex Darling Downs Pipeline, which runs to the Wallumbilla hub. Jemena awarded international oil and gas infrastructure contractor Spiecapag Australia a $20 million contract to construct the Atlas Gas Pipeline. The contract for the construction of the Atlas Compressor Station has been awarded to Australian energy and infrastructure services group Valmec. Construction is currently underway and commissioning of the project is expected by the end of 2019. The pipeline was given the Greek name
of ‘Atlas’ which means strength, integrity and resilience. Senex intended the project to represent these characteristics, strengthening the domestic energy supply and delivering the product with integrity and resilience.
Supporting local manufacturers Project Atlas currently has three domestic sales contracts to supply local manufacturers with gas. Atlas will supply south-east Queensland manufacturer CSR with up to 3.25PJ of gas to be used to make bricks, plasterboard and insulation
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GAS PIPELINES over a three-year period. Orora Limited, another Queensland manufacturer, also has a domestic sales agreement with Atlas for 1.1PJ over a two-year period. The agreement has the possibility to extend over six years to supply 6.6PJ to support the manufacturing of cardboard, glass, and aluminium. In June, Atlas signed a third sales agreement with Brisbanebased glass packaging manufacturer O-I Australia. Atlas will supply 10.5PJ of natural glass over five years.
A worthwhile investment Jemena will invest around $140 million to construct Atlas, which is expected to create around 150 to 200 jobs in Queensland. Jemena Executive General Manager of Gas Markets, Antoon Boey, said “We are acutely aware that Australia faces a gas supply crisis and Jemena is investing heavily in new gas transmission infrastructure to bring new gas supplies into the market. “Moving gas from where it is produced to the markets where it is needed at the lowest possible cost and doing so safely and reliably is of utmost importance to Jemena.” Senex’s Managing Director and CEO, Ian Davies, said that the investment will not only create new jobs and support the local economy in the Western Downs region, but will result in generating royalties and benefits beyond the region and the state. The voice of the oil and gas industry, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), warmly welcomed the pipeline and domestic gas contracts. APPEA Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said that the project and supply contracts highlights critical importance of developing
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new gas resources and the response the oil and gas industry is taking to accelerate the delivery of new supply. “Queensland has taken a proactive approach to gas development which has delivered significant new supply to its homes and businesses, as well to many manufacturers in southern states, whose governments have put a brake on gas production,” Mr McConville said.
The future of gas The beginning of construction of the Atlas gas pipeline marks an important milestone in the domestic gas industry. It will hopefully encourage other energy companies and oil and gas explorers to embark on their own domestic gas projects, ensuring a secure and lucrative gas supply for generations to come.
A NEW APPROACH
IS NEEDED IN GAS MARKETS by Andrew Richards, EUAA Chief Executive Officer
Over the last five years, energy users have been urging governments to resolve the gas crisis that is irreparably damaging our manufacturing sector and driving up electricity prices. Make no mistake, persistently high gas prices result in job losses, decreased investment and increased costs to consumers.
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Andrew Richards argues that if we had applied greater control over the introduction of LNG export terminals, we could have avoided the negative outcomes associated with some gas fields not delivering the expected volumes of gas and the subsequent raiding of domestic gas supplies to satisfy export obligations.
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t is not only the direct impacts of higher gas costs that is a problem. There are significant knock-on effects to many other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, where much of our farming produce is supplied to the food processing industry that is reliant on gas for heat and steam. Quite simply, if we reduce the amount of food we process in Australia, we reduce the amount of food we grow in Australia. This is just one example of the profound impacts of the gas crisis unfolding in a country with an abundance of gas. So, how did it all come to this? While no one planned for this gas crisis to occur, tragically, this situation is entirely of our own making. For many years, energy user groups, including the EUAA, expressed concerns that the domestic gas market would suffer in the absence of a national interest test being applied to LNG exports. While hindsight is a wonderful thing, if we had applied greater control over the introduction of LNG export terminals, we could have avoided, at least in part, the negative outcomes associated with some gas fields not delivering the expected volumes of gas and the subsequent raiding of domestic gas supplies to satisfy export obligations. These unintended consequences, perhaps as a result of naivety, ignorance or even arrogance, have brought us to this point. But that is old news and there is not a lot of point focusing on the past and looking for someone to blame. Finding solutions is a better way forward. With a re-elected Morrison Government back in the driver’s seat, there is an opportunity to address the past failings in gas markets and create a brighter future for Australian manufacturers and associated industries. Interestingly, while the Federal Government has kept a relatively hands-off approach to gas markets to date, it has increasingly intervened in electricity markets. The irony of course is that in many cases, gas is setting the price of electricity. It could be that a change of focus to addressing serious issues with the domestic gas market could also deliver better outcomes in electricity as well. Before the Federal Election in May, the EUAA threw the challenge out to the next government of materially addressing the gas crisis. We released a discussion paper that contained a number of ideas that were aimed at encouraging a different approach, a new way of thinking, and further discussion about a way to address the failings in gas markets. These ideas ranged from relatively modest evolutionary steps in gas market reform right through to the creation of a commonwealth gas company and retrospective reservation. Under normal circumstances, many of these ideas that promote greater market intervention from government are not the preferred approach of the EUAA, or any business group for that matter. In normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances. Right now, our gas markets are not working. We are now at the point where intervention is likely to be required to achieve a customer-focused resolution.
Make no mistake, continuing to do nothing is no longer an option and the longer we wait the greater the intervention will need to be. What kind of intervention, how much and when to stop are all points of contention and warrant further discussion and consideration. There is always the risk that additional intervention will create a raft of new, unintended consequences, making a Andrew Richards. perilous situation even worse. Careful consideration must be given to further action but without it, the future looks bleak. Whether or not you agree with the ideas proposed in the EUAA discussion paper, the point is that we need to rethink our approach to gas markets. We need to recognise they are not functioning in the way they should, nor in the interests of consumers. We can no longer sit by and wait for the market to respond. What has been tried in the past has not worked. It’s time to try something different. Perhaps something radical. The great news is that it is not too late. And if the recent responses from governments are anything to go by, there is reason for hope. The Federal Government’s Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ASGSM), announced in 2018, has attempted to deliver better outcomes in the form of supply. The Queensland Government continues to announce new gas tenements – land released solely for domestic gas supply. The result of this action is now starting to bring positive outcomes for many Queensland based gas users. Unfortunately, the situation is not as positive in other states. With a moratorium on gas in Victoria, and effectively in NSW, it is little wonder that the Federal Government is considering further action to ensure greater supply. Recent reports suggest that Senator Canavan is looking at what other action is possible to deliver better outcomes in gas – possibly considering the introduction of a national interest test. From the EUAA perspective, where we represent large energy users, some of whom spend $1 million per day on gas, we welcome this conversation. We are encouraged to see a renewed focus from the Federal Government and a willingness to engage on new ideas to solve the gas crisis. However, we must recognise that it will take federal and state governments working together, along with the entire gas supply chain, before we can truly set ourselves on the path to a more economically sustainable domestic gas market. The implications of continuing to do nothing in gas is unfortunately a slow and painful death for Australian manufacturing – the kind of value destruction no one wants to preside over.
The microgrid industry has grown at a rapid speed over the last few years, and estimates indicate it will only continue to grow – the global market for microgrids is expected to be valued at $US30 billion in 2022. As the industry expands, it’s increasingly important that the industry has a recognised voice, and the International Microgrid Association has emerged as the organisation to provide that trusted voice.
ithin the energy industry, we are witnessing increasing penetration of distributed generation resources, such as solar PV, energy storage, and microgrids – which are small-scale versions of a centralised electric grid. Microgrids can generate, distribute, and manage power and energy locally within a customer’s or region’s defined area – with or without the utility connection. When properly designed, built, optimised and operated, microgrids
by Terry Mohn, Chairman, International Microgrid Association
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can achieve important goals for their owners, including economic power, reliable energy, resilience energy, and minimised environmental impact. Microgrids are developed by property owners and investors who wish to achieve levels of improved energy performance. Microgrids range in size from single buildings to large seaports and communities. In developing countries, they can be designed for villages and urban areas which are not covered by a local utility. All microgrid installations are intended to be self-sufficient and to operate
independently from the larger grid. In many cases, the electric grid can remain connected, if it’s available, and the microgrid can even be designed to export services back into the grid. Microgrid technology has evolved over the past decade and now incorporates lowcost generation (such as solar, batteries, wind and thermal), as well as sophisticated control and communication systems that balance the flow of energy between all of its parts. In the case of residential subdivision microgrids, much of the electric generation is supplied by solar rooftops. The challenge is to balance energy flow across the entire system to maintain reliability, efficiency and carbon emissions.
Enter the IMA Established in February 2019, the International Microgrid Association (IMA) focuses on microgrids’ contribution of emerging solutions in key energy sector areas – energy cost, energy availability
MICROGRIDS and the seamless ability to incorporate renewable technologies into the power portfolio. The IMA is a growing coalition of members involved in the global microgrid value chain and includes such companies as Cisco, Schneider Electric, Telstra, UWA, Woodside, ATCO Gas and Horizon Power. All IMA members are committed to leading change and rapidly progressing the global microgrid sector. The IMA focuses in three main microgrid industry structures: policy/regulatory models, standards and technology, and business models. The Association aims to evaluate existing global ideas in each area, recommending which to adopt for industry growth, which to improve, and identify potential gaps. The IMA strategically defines and communicates use-case specific blueprints that will build and broaden the global microgrid market opportunity and articulate sound industry investments.
Business opportunity areas that will be pursued include industrial (ports, campuses, municipalities) and rural (islands, developing countries, energy poverty). The IMA provides a platform where both local and international members, which represent a broad range of interests in the microgrid value chain, can meet, exchange ideas and work cooperatively on a common set of issues with the goal of moving microgrids towards the digital, decarbonised, decentralised energy future. An inherent outcome is economic growth for members and the regions where they work. Aiming to represent the voice of the industry, key operational, technical and market issues will be investigated and promoted; ultimately intending to educate stakeholders and foster the development and adoption of microgrid solutions focusing on a transformed electric power system. The IMA can illustrate the reliability, resilience, security and interoperability that
electric systems can derive by supporting investment and acceleration of innovative, cost effective microgrid technologies and capabilities across the world. The key value for members of the IMA include: »» Enabling cross-sector collaboration that will build a team with capabilities to accelerate microgrid market awareness and speed to market »» Amalgamation of issues (policy, economics, engineering) to communicate a consistent message about the value of microgrids to stakeholders »» Integration of local businesses into domestic and global supply chains thus developing a broader workforce capability and export potential in energy related fields The IMA is committed to driving economic growth through the fostering of cross-sector collaboration across the global microgrid value chain, enabling a
INDUSTRY VOICE FOR
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transformed electric power system and unlocking the future potential of microgrids.
Educating the industry on the benefits of microgrids A number of benefits arise from localising the management and control of energy resources in the form of microgrids. They include: »» Economics: as utility electric prices (both energy and demand) have either become unpredictable or are escalating too high, microgrids provide balanced control of energy production and demand lead to lower pricing »» Reliability: energy users require higher energy availability than can be provided by traditional sources. Microgrids can supply much more stable voltage and frequency using advanced control systems »» Resilience: energy users have suffered, and cannot afford, too many storm or other frequent outages with longer than acceptable restoration times. Microgrids, supplying energy production closer to the loads, minimise the effects due to weather or fires »» Environmental impact: many utilities do not share the users’ standards for levels of carbon emissions. Microgrids can supply many types of renewable energy, including those supplied by customers’ rooftops The IMA will be providing public educational content on solutions that can be applied across all regions and circumstances. It intends to work directly with government agencies and multi-lateral banks to ensure a stable, sustainable energy future for all.
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SHOULD AUSTRALIA DEVELOP A
NUCLEAR ENERGY INDUSTRY? Nuclear energy is a controversial and hotly debated topic within the Australian energy industry as well as the wider community. As the urgency to address climate change increases, the question of whether nuclear should be incorporated into Australia’s energy mix becomes even more relevant. Here, we take a closer look at the “for” and “against” cases for developing a nuclear energy industry in Australia.
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Nuclear power stations are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be
Louis Brailsford, Climate Council
s predictably as the changing of the seasons, nuclear proponents make an appearance in the media, extolling the virtues of nuclear energy and promising a panacea of clean, reliable electricity to solve Australia’s energy and climate woes. But beyond these lofty claims, the reality of nuclear is far less rosy. Proponents often say that nuclear energy will help stop climate change and can do so more cost-effectively and at a larger scale than renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Is this really the case? Let’s take a closer look at how nuclear power works. Nuclear power stations run on uranium. When the nucleus of a uranium molecule is split inside a reactor, heat is produced – this process is called nuclear fission. The heat produced from this process is used to heat water, which creates steam, which in turn drives a turbine to generate electricity. It is true that unlike coal and gas, this process produces no greenhouse gas pollution. But all other steps involved in producing nuclear power (mining, construction, decommissioning and waste management, to name a few) result in greenhouse gas pollution. Nuclear energy is also not “renewable”. Uranium is a finite resource just like coal or gas – unlike the wind and the sun, which are infinitely renewable. To be sure, Australia has significant uranium deposits, and is the world’s third largest uranium producer. However, there are a number of reasons
why nuclear power is not appropriate for Australia. Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water. Nuclear power stations also present significant community, health, environmental, and cost risks associated with potential impacts from extreme weather events and natural disasters, such as occurred in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Even if they operate uneventfully over their planned lifespans, nuclear power stations leave a long-term and prohibitively expensive legacy of site remediation, fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste storage. Additionally, building nuclear power stations is a multi-billion-dollar, multi-year process that can’t hold a candle to cheap and readily available renewable energy technology. For example, the Hinkley nuclear power station under construction in the UK will cost 20 billion pounds ($A36 billion), and take nine years to build. This could be even longer in Australia given there is currently no nuclear industry here. In contrast, wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new generation, and take a mere one to three years to build. Not only would it be ill-advised for Australia to waste billions of dollars when cheap energy alternatives exist, but it would also take too long. Australia’s ageing fleet of coal power
stations is already struggling to cope with extreme heat, and we can’t wait a decade to replace it with nuclear. And even if, for some reason, nuclear power stations did get off the ground in Australia, nuclear power would not be wellsuited to the needs of a modern electricity system. Nuclear power stations are inflexible – that is, they cannot quickly increase or decrease the amount of electricity they produce. This means they are a bad fit for modern, fast and flexible electricity grids with large amounts of wind and solar generation. Unlike inflexible nuclear, fast response technologies such as batteries, pumped hydro and solar thermal can be turned on and off, or ramped up and down to balance electricity supply and demand. We can already see renewables and storage proving themselves as a superior option in California, where wind and solar provides more than 30 per cent of the state’s power needs, and the state’s last nuclear power station will shut by 2026. Lastly, nuclear power stations require massive quantities of water to operate. In a dry continent like Australia, prone to hot summers and drought conditions which are only likely to get more severe as climate change worsens, it would be reckless to rely on a water-hungry power source like nuclear. Whether you look at it from a cost, practicality, or resources perspective, the bottom line is this: it simply makes no sense to build nuclear power stations in Australia.
Mr Brailsford is an analyst at the Climate Council, specialising in energy solutions to climate change. Since joining the Climate Council in 2017, he has worked on reports on renewable energy and business, energy storage, coal power stations and federal and state energy policy. For more information, visit www.climatecouncil.org.au
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The case for developing nuclear in Australia
Dr Ben Heard and Dayne Eckermann, Bright New World limate change is real, serious, and must be addressed with a controlled sense of urgency. Yet here in Australia we have kept our doors closed to the possibility of nuclear with twenty years of prohibition. The development of nuclear and renewable technologies is not in conflict. The UK shows us this. Their consensus on technology-inclusive low-carbon energy policy means they can aim for zero net emissions by 2050 and it’s actually credible. To this day, Australia’s anti-nuclear community fights to maintain the ban on nuclear technologies. Typically, perversely, this anti-nuclear prejudice resides in the same organisations advocating urgent action on climate change. Bright New World is the exception. Our NGO knows climate change is a serious issue, and that no energy technology can be left off the table. This keeps us in harmony with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and a growing trend of independent environmental thinking. The Australian public is agreeing more and more, with recent surveys showing rising support for nuclear energy. There is a major opportunity cost in excluding a whole family of technologies. Our modelling for the Australian NEM suggests a similar finding to that from MIT – merging firm low carbon with variable low carbon technologies always produces the lowest cost outcome for the overall power system. Nuclear can work synergistically with renewable generation to drive down
the cost of a clean, secure, robust power system. There is no question for us that a small cluster of nuclear new builds in the USA, UK and Western Europe, based on new generations of large reactors, simply have not inspired confidence. Such projects will struggle to find willing investors in Australia. But there is no rationality in prohibiting a whole class of technology based on a sample of disappointing projects – if there were we would have banned concentrated solar thermal, geothermal, wave and ocean power. This prohibition doesn’t protect us from bad projects, it locks us out of good and promising opportunities. Consider what has been realised in the United Arab Emirates, where they started with no nuclear in 2009 to turning on 5.6GWe of nuclear over the next four years. Or new opportunities in small modular and Generation IV reactors such as those from NuScale or Terrestrial Energy. These newer reactors bring the vital benefit of high-temperature outputs to decarbonise industry, and excellent ramping capability to work with variable renewables. The designs are verified ‘walkaway safe’ power plants. These could be a wonderful fit for Australia with our ongoing renewable energy developments. Like wind and solar power, nuclear is a very clean energy source. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the USA, cited by the IPCC, puts the best-estimate nuclear lifecycle emissions at 12g of carbon dioxide equivalent per kWh, comparable to wind. As uranium is energy dense, material inputs per kWh are lower than other generation choices. Its waste? It is the only energy source that fully encapsulates and manages its waste. There are waste
solutions, and they do exist. Finland is a leading example of this. As for water, a vital natural resource for Australia, nuclear withdraws a large amount of water, but this is mostly once through – it is returned to the environment. With coastal siting, there is little competition for potable water sources. Yet with all this we are told nuclear deployment is too slow, when the global evidence affirms the opposite – the most rapid decarbonisation efforts have included nuclear build programs. The French nuclear program took 33 years to build 58 reactors. That’s 1.75 commissioned reactors per year! That’s the very definition of the controlled sense of urgency we need to tackle climate change. When it’s not too slow, it’s apparently too dangerous, though we know nuclear is the safest per TWh energy source in the world. People talk about the failures, but no one talks about the plants in Japan that shrugged off the earthquake and tsunami, or the ones in the USA that continually shrug off hurricanes and polar vortexes. Nuclear is robust and, as late-starters, we can only buy the best! Lifting this prohibition might lead to a prosperous nuclear power industry in Australia with benefits in slashing greenhouse gas emissions, safeguarding employment in existing power generation communities around Australia, and boosting our scientific and engineering capabilities – all while continuing to develop renewable energy resources. Or it might not. If our critics are correct, nuclear will never be developed. In which case, they have nothing to lose. It’s time to end the prohibition, and see the nuclear opportunities.
Dr Ben Heard is the founder of Bright New World and is recognised as a leading voice for the use of nuclear technologies to address pressing global challenges. Dayne Eckermann is the General Manager of Bright New World and has a background in policy and governance, as well as energy and mining. Further references to the claims in this article can be found in Bright New World’s blog at www.brightnewworld.org
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ETHICAL INVES The fractured investment and planning history of Queensland’s Adani coal mine could stand as a case study in global energy investment decisions revealed in the International Energy Agency’s latest annual review. The IEA’s World Energy Investment 2019 report, released in May, revealed that capital spending on oil, gas and coal supply bounced back, while investment stalled for energy efficiency and renewables. But it also recognised the two-pronged nature of coal as an energy source: that while investment in new coal mines had declined, it still represented an important part of the world’s energy mix.
he IEA report found that even though decisions to invest in coal-fired power plants declined to their lowest level this century and retirements rose, the global coal power fleet continued to expand, particularly in developing Asian countries. Coal from the Adani mine is thought to be destined for India, where there is a continuing demand for cheap power. The IEA report said that the continuing investments in coal plants appear to be aimed at filling a growing gap between soaring demand for power and a levelling of expected generation from low-carbon investments. Without carbon capture technology or incentives for earlier retirements, coal power and the high carbon emissions it produces would remain part of the global energy system for many years to come. “Energy investments now face unprecedented uncertainties, with shifts in markets, policies and technologies,” IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, said. “But the bottom line is that the world is not investing enough in traditional elements of supply to maintain today’s consumption patterns, nor is it investing enough in cleaner energy technologies to change
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course. Whichever way you look, we are storing up risks for the future.” The Adani mine began in 2010 as a $16.5 billion investment with a plan for six
open-cut and five underground mines with 400km of railway to be built to connect the project to a single user terminal at Abbot Point. The plan envisaged production of
TMENT DEBATE 60 million tonnes per annum by 2022 with 10,000 job opportunities during construction. Nic Pollock, CCO at K2fly – who will canvas social licence to operate imperatives at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in late October – says a lack of funding caused the company to rethink that plan, with Australia’s big four banks saying in 2015 that they had no appetite to invest in new coal projects. And that reluctance continued. A report released in February this year by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found that more than 100 major global financial institutions have divested from thermal coal, including the top 40 global banks and 20 globally significant insurers. By the end of 2018, 415 global investors managing a collective $US32 trillion called for a complete thermal coal phase-out by 2030 across the OECD. China is also committed to phasing out coal. According to Mr Pollock, this exodus of funding illustrates a bigger point: 2019 looks as if it will be the year when environmental, social and governance considerations move from a specialised niche into the mainstream. “Financiers and chief executives are
realising that ignoring ESG issues is a business risk,” Mr Pollock said. Sustainable investment has grown by more than one third since 2016, with assets of more than $30 trillion at the start of last year. “In Queensland this year we witnessed global mining company Rio Tinto divest from thermal coal, with other majors including BHP and Glencore vowing to transition out of the commodity sooner than expected,” Mr Pollock said. BHP has said it has no appetite to grow existing thermal coal projects and Glencore said earlier this year it would cap coal output at current levels. Glencore said it made the decision to cap global thermal and coking coal production at the current level of about 145 million tonnes after holding talks with the Climate Action 100+ initiative – an investor initiative launched in 2017 to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. The group includes several major Australian superannuation funds such as AMP Capital, AustralianSuper, Cbus, IFM Investors, QSuper and BT Financial Group. The lack of access to capital forced the Adani proponents to revise and fund the project.
It became a $2 billion investment with a single open-cut mine with production of up to 27.5Mtpa and around 1,500 jobs in the construction phase. The wider energy mix debate including renewables, decarbonisation and hydrogen will be discussed in greater detail at IMARC, with dedicated conferences on both energy and social licence to operate. BHP, Rio Tinto and Glencore will be among the 300 thought leaders presenting throughout the three-day event.
The International Mining and Resources Conference is Australia’s largest mining event. Bringing together 7000 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from over 100 countries for four days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking. IMARC will run from 28-31 October 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information visit https://imarcmelbourne.com
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ll-Energy Australia is a free-to-attend conference and exhibition that opens up a world of opportunities for the clean energy sector, held in partnership with the Clean Energy Council. Attendees will have exclusive access to the latest technology, information and trends relevant to professionals working with or investing in the renewables sector, from over 200 expert speakers across seven streams. In 2019, All-Energy Australia will be focused on the theme “Advancing Australia’s transition to a clean energy future”. This theme will extend across the conference and expanded exhibition floor, which will feature leading energy industry suppliers showcasing their latest technology, products and services. This theme will focus on driving the sector’s continued growth and working together to realise the vision of a nation powered by clean energy. Expert industry insight Within this year’s conference program, two significant topics of discussion will be microgrids and the need for flexible markets for distributed energy resources (DERs). The need for flexibility is pivotal in the ongoing transition to grids operating with a high density of renewable and decentralised generation. Consumer-owned smart devices and DERs, both large and small, play an increasingly significant role in energy markets. As this happens, the opportunity for the provision of “flexibility services”, which enable DERs to provide wider grid support to third parties, is emerging. By establishing these DER flexibility markets, distributed system operators (DSOs) are able to source services from suppliers within the network in a transparent, fair and secure manner while managing their normal business operations. In fact, this model is already being established in countries such as the United Kingdom. Presenting at All-Energy Australia this year will be Phil Blythe,
CEO of GreenSync, who will discuss the pathway to realise these opportunities in his session titled “Market mechanisms: a global shift to DER flexibility markets”. “While our energy systems have been traditionally centrally operated and managed by our generators and networks, there is now a need for a new market architecture that allows its newest investors – households and businesses – to participate and be rewarded for contributing to a range of grid services at times of need by the network,” said Dr Blythe. “There will not be a single market for flexibility, but rather multiple markets for specific services provided by the customer’s energy assets. Irrespective of the country or jurisdiction, grid services such as emergency capacity, ancillary support and voltage management are likely to be adapted and will evolve to accommodate what DERs can do. “As this evolution continues, the opportunity and need for a centralised digital exchange becomes greater, whereby individual
ADVANCING AUSTRALIA’S TRANSITION
TO A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE
This October, Melbourne will play host to All-Energy Australia, the nation’s most comprehensive clean and renewable energy exhibition and conference. In 2018, the event was attended by over 8500 renewable energy industry experts and professionals, from throughout the country and overseas, making it the largest attendance on record.
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markets for things like asset deferral tenders, wholesale energy, ancillary services and network capacity products can all be hosted.” Microgrids will also have a dedicated session in this year’s conference program, with Acciona Energy and Deakin Energy sharing their insights to developing, operating and implementing a successful microgrid. As a global company with a business model based on sustainability, Acciona aims to respond to society’s needs through the provision of renewable energy, infrastructure, water and services. Acciona has recently developed a software tool for the analysis, design and optimal dimensioning of microgrids, and a modular and flexible microgrid management system, which is independently manufactured, and able to maximise renewable generation and ROI while guaranteeing reliable supplies. Deakin Energy meanwhile is working with industry, communities, government and leading research providers to find solutions for developing smarter and sustainable energy systems for capacity
and capability within Deakin University. In a joint presentation session, Belen Linares Corell (R&D and Innovation Director at Acciona Energy) and Dr Adrian Panow (Director at Deakin Energy) will cover the development of microgrids, how to maximise their benefits and what is required from as safe and functional microgrid. “Major investment globally is being directed towards DERs, so we must understand the impact and opportunities of DERs on existing grids,” said Dr Adrian Panow, Director, Deakin Energy. “Moving to a DER environment does not reduce the need for safety, reliability, affordability and social equity. At Deakin, we are demonstrating, through the construction of our own 7.25MW solar and storage microgrid, that delivery and retention of research, cost and sustainability benefits can all be achieved together.” As the industry’s largest all-encompassing clean energy event, this year’s All-Energy Australia exhibition will feature over 250 industry-leading companies, from market leaders to start-ups, showcasing innovations and emerging technologies and offering expert advice. Companies that have confirmed their presence at All-Energy Australia 2019 include ABB, NEXTracker, Fronius, Growatt, LONGi Solar, Array Technologies, Risen Energy, One Stop Warehouse, Powerark Solar, Soltec, Samsung SDI, Senec, SMA Australia, BayWa r.e, Applied Nano Technologies and Flex. Visitors to All-Energy Australia will also have the benefit of gaining access to the co-located Energy Efficiency Expo and Waste Expo Australia. The inaugural Energy Efficiency Expo is a new free-to-attend industry event, launched to help organisations solve their energy productivity and affordability challenges, while Waste Expo Australia is targeted at industry professionals within the waste management and wastewater treatment industries. Together, these three industry events will offer visitors Australia’s most comprehensive opportunity to learn about renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable solutions.
All-Energy Australia will be held from 23-24 October 2019 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Visitor registration for All-Energy Australia is available at: www.all-energy.com.au
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FEATURES SCHEDULE November 2019 MAJOR FEATURES
Deadline: 18 October 2019
Grid integration and stabilisation Disruption Embedded networks Domestic gas outlook Electric vehicles IoT & cloud communication Demand management
Deadline: 7 February 2020
Solar Pumped hydro Hydrogen and future fuels
Smart networks (big data, smart meters and smart grids) Consumer and industrial retail Security
EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY
EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY
Spatial & GIS
Digital Utilities 2020
EECON 2019 Disaster Management 2019
Deadline: 24 April 2020
Deadline: 24 July 2020
Energy networks Storage and solar Safety and risk management Waste-to-energy
Wind Nuclear energy Gas pipelines Energy efficiency
Automation Asset management Industrial energy
Microgrids Disaster management Distributed generation
EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY
Transformers and substations Vegetation management
EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY
Asset inspection & drones/UAVs
Energy Networks 2020 Smart Cities 2020 Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure
EVENT DISTRIBUTION TBC
ADVERTISERSâ€™ INDEX Aerodyne Australia................................................................................................................................................................57 All Energy Contracting......................................................................................................................................................... 40 All-Energy Conference...................................................................................................................................................... 78-79 ANT Energy Solutions........................................................................................................................................................... 41 Australian Hydrogen Forum.................................................................................................................................................IBC Century Yuasa...................................................................................................................................................................... 17 EECON 2019.........................................................................................................................................................................55 IMARC............................................................................................................................................................................ 76-77 National Energy Summit...................................................................................................................................................... 45 Nearmap..............................................................................................................................................................................47 Ningbo Ginlong Technologies.............................................................................................................................................. IFC Omicron Electronics Australia................................................................................................................................................. 9 Position Partners............................................................................................................................................................... OBC Powered.......................................................................................................................................................................... 50-51 Veolia Environmental Services.................................................................................................................................................11 Vermeer Corp...................................................................................................................................................................... 29
September 2019 ISSUE 7
18-20 September 2019 Sydney | Australia
Find your opportunity in a H2 future Expert speakers include:
Alan Finkel Chief Scientist Australian Government
Stuart Hawksworth President International Association for Hydrogen Safety
Alberto Litta EVP, Head of Engineering and Design ENGIE
Shunsuke Sakuma General Manager of Hydrogen Engineering Australia Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Keith Owen Head of Systems Development and Energy Strategy Northern Gas Networks
Martin Hablutzel Head of Strategy Siemens Australia
Daniel Roberts Leader, Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform CSIRO
Felicity Underhill General Manager Hydrogen Origin Energy
David Roberts Executive Director, Head of Project Advisory ANZ
Claire Johnson Co-Founder & CEO of data analytics startup Hydrolytics
Alison Reeve Taskforce Leader, National Hydrogen Strategy Australian Government
Tom Campey GM Strategy ARENA
Vanya Kumar Executive Director Energy Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria Government
Dean Smith Manager Power Development AGL Energy
REGISTER TODAY! Use VIP code ‘EM10’ to receive 10% oﬀ the registration fee. www.hydrogenforum.com.au WHY YOU MUST ATTEND:
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Move the hydrogen conversation forward, this conference won’t be a talk-fest, it’s an event all about progression- not just talking about old pilot projects Find opportunities and clarify your own position within the hydrogen sector of the future Network with every key stakeholder in the ANZ hydrogen sector as well as international players Get insight into what the policy and investment environment in Australia will need to be for the rise of the industry Understand the latest issues, innovations and what the key hurdles to hydrogen progress are
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Energy September look at Australia's energy outlook both present and future, considers the controversial topic of Nuclear power, and investi...
Published on Aug 9, 2019
Energy September look at Australia's energy outlook both present and future, considers the controversial topic of Nuclear power, and investi...