Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
December 2020

Highlights and insights from 2020

Welcome to ARENA Insights - a newsletter dedicated to sharing knowledge and insights directly with industry.

As 2020 comes to a close, ARENA Insights revisits the key projects and reports you might have missed this year.


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Renewable energy knowledge gets trendy

In 2020 we published over 120 project reports, updates, lessons learnt, and more from ARENA-funded projects on our Knowledge Bank. These were downloaded over 43,000 times during the year, which is an 83% increase from 2019.


The most popular topics to explore in the Knowledge Bank were Hydrogen, Electric Vehicles, Bioenergy, Corporate Power Purchase Agreements and Large Scale Batteries.


Access the reports and learn valuable lessons by equipping yourself with up-to-date industry information.

Visit the Knowledge Bank 


ARENA Insights Forum - Keeping The Lights On in a Separation Event: What Role Did Renewables Play?

Following an islanding event, which saw the South Australian grid and part of Victoria separated from the National Electricity Market, ARENA held a webinar to share lessons learned from the unplanned event.



Image: Tesla batteries wind turbines in the background.


Read more about the event 


Distributed Energy Integration Program update

The Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP) continued to collaborate on some important initiatives in its second year. Read all about them in this DEIP 2020 wrap.

Illustration: Rooftop solar panels on home.


Read the DEIP 2020 wrap


Hydrogen - finding progress in the H2(ype)

The potential benefits and feasibility of a new hydrogen industry in Australia have continued to feature regularly in discussions this year.


ARENA has invested in over 30 projects to accelerate the development of hydrogen and associated products. These include cutting-edge research projects as well as commercialisation and demonstration projects. They cover a wide range of topics from the production of green hydrogen through to its transportation and use. 


Two detailed feasibility studies were published this year about the manufacturing ammonia in Australia using hydrogen, with one site in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and the other in Queensland.


A positive amongst the negatives of 2020 - big battery developments

Image: Aerial view of battery storage site in South Australia


ARENA’s portfolio of big battery projects are some of the biggest and most advanced in the world. They delivered some important findings during 2020 with Operational Reports published for the projects at Ballarat, Gannawarra and Lake Bonney.


These grid-scale batteries, and particularly the clever electronics controlling them, are proving to be capable of a growing list of services to support the performance of the grid and the integration of more variable renewable energy. This is a fast-moving area in terms of technology and commercial models, and there seems to be a widening group of stakeholders interested in it.


Just over two years since the Hornsdale Power Reserve was installed, as Australia’s biggest battery, this year its capacity was expanded by 50% and extra features added, as reported in September.


Power to the people - DER customer values and experiences

What’s the difference between a Settler, a Prospector and a Pioneer, and how do these ‘value modes’ influence energy choices?


ARENA’s Customer Insights Reports consolidate customer insights from from 20 projects, delving into the different value modes and the customer experience from the journey of buying, installing, maintaining and retaining a DER product.


Image: Customer value modes mapped to Schwartz’s universal values


New to the Knowledge Bank this month

  • Voltage Controlled Frequency Regulation System - the final project report from United Energy summarises the findings from the duration of the project, as well as presenting new achievements in the delivery of delayed contingency FCAS services for the NEM.
  • Consumer Engagement in Energy Data Services - a summary from ANU of recent studies investigating the opportunities, challenges and recommendations for successful engagement of consumers with energy data services.
  • A Review of Publicly Available Energy Data Sets - The ANU has investigated 24 of the largest publicly available energy data sets to understand what information has been collected and how the information has been used.
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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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