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Australian System Needs Modernisation

In a new briefing paper, ‘Arresting frequency changes in a modern electricity system’, the CEC’s director of energy transformation Tom Butler argued the current system of coal and gas plants providing frequency response is out of date.

“While coal and gas power plants have traditionally provided inertia and system security services, many of Australia’s coal plants are now past the date where they were expected to retire.

“New wind, solar and storage technologies are ready to play a role in this transformation. But the market and its rules and regulations have to move with the times,” Butler said.

Wind power and battery storage have successfully provided rapid frequency response in other countries to support the inertia in the power system, he added.

“The right market settings are all that is needed to bring their capabilities online going forward, and the Clean Energy Council believes this technology will need to play an integral role to support Australia’s energy system in the 21st century,” Butler said.

Among its recommendations, the report calls on “appropriate standards” to be formed that apply to all technologies focusing on “the speed and accuracy of their contribution to arresting the change in frequency”.

It also pushed for trials of “inverter-based technologies” to provide frequency response.

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