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Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
31 July 2023

Balancing the Future with Demand Flexibility

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Looking back to build the future

Demand flexibility has the potential to play a critical role in Australia’s ability to reach net zero but remains under-utilised. ARENA has commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to investigate what we can learn from ARENA’s extensive distributed energy portfolio that can inform our future decisions about demand flexibility.


Key insights include:

  • the importance of establishing the technical foundations needed to scale demand flexibility;
  • the need to harmonise policy and improve access to different value streams; and   
  • centering customers at the heart of new program design.

Image: Rooftop solar in suburbia.

Explore more of ISF’s findings in the Retrospective Analysis Report here.


The future of hot water is electric

Domestic hot water use is responsible for around a fifth of Australian residential greenhouse gas emissions.


As the Australian Government has committed to a 43% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050, deploying electric domestic hot water technologies is critical to achieving these targets.


Learn how these technologies — heat pumps and electric storage — offer differing benefits in terms of efficiency, emissions reductions, costs, flexibility, and ease of retrofit.

Image: The three main water heater types analysed in this report: (L-R) electric resistance; air source heat pump; instantaneous gas (Source: UTS Domestic Hot-water and Flexibility report).

Read the UTS Domestic Hot Water and Flexibility Report here.


Shell prepares for Smart Energy Hubs

The Shell Energy Smart Energy Hubs Deployment Project will implement Smart Energy Hubs throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria across 40 commercial and industrial (C&I) customer sites to demonstrate new flexible demand capacity of 21.5 MW.


Early reports from the project describe how emerging forms of flexible demand technologies are relatively untapped and explore the deployment strategies for future Smart Energy Hubs.


Image: Potential Shell Smart Energy Hub integrating multiple sources of demand flexibility.


In case you missed it: demand flexibility 101 resources

Not quite sure what demand flexibility is all about? We have a number of resources to help better understand the concept of demand flexibility and the potential value of flexible demand.


Image: Still of a video describing how demand flexibility works.


Reminder: Hydrogen Headstart consultation closes 3 August

A reminder that ARENA and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) are seeking your feedback on the indicative specifications of the Hydrogen Headstart program.


Feedback can be provided on the consultation paper until 3 August 2023.


Image: A hydrogen fuel cell bus.

Read more about the Hydrogen Headstart consultation here.


New to the Knowledge Bank

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

  • Jemena’s Final Report from the Dynamic EV Charging Trial provides insights into the impact of EVs on distribution networks and the ability of Distributed Network Service Providers (DNSPs) to forecast and manage network loads in periods of low and high demand.
  • Read the Final Report here.

Renewables for Industry

  • The Hardwick Meatworks Heat Pump Installation and Power Upgrade Demonstration Trial Interim Report provides a project update now that the heat pump has been installed and commissioned at the meat processing facility.
  • The installation involved a high voltage upgrade and integration with the site’s solar and battery storage system.
  • Read the Interim Report here.

Bioenergy / Energy-from-waste

  • The latest Lessons Learnt Report from Bluescope Steel focuses on the preliminary learnings from the Port Kembla Steelworks Renewables & Emissions Reduction trials.
  • Read the Lessons Learnt Report here.

Solar PV R&D

  • The Final Report from the University of Sydney’s Durable Silicon Perovskite Tandem Photovoltaics Study discusses new research capabilities such as measurement protocols for assessing the stability of Si-perovskite solar cells.
  • Read the Final Report here.

Large Scale Renewables

  • The commissioned report from DIgSILENT investigates the technical and economic feasibility of repurposing existing synchronous generators as synchronous condensers.
  • Read the commissioned report here.
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Australian Government and Energy Innovation Toolkit logos
Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA

ARENA Insights shares knowledge from our open-source library of reports, studies and tools to provide guidance and learnings to benefit future renewable energy projects.

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