One of the most common arguments against renewable energy (particularly solar) is its inability to provide baseload generation. Here Comes the Sun sought to address this issue by investigating the viability of microgrids. This means that small communities can install solar arrays with excess generating capacity and store any excess generation in batteries. The stored electricity can be used when the community’s solar arrays are not generating enough energy to meet its needs.
AEF used a combination of research tools including:
- Energy demand profile modelling
- Financial cost-benefit modelling
- Consumer surveys
- Interviews and focus groups
- Logistical analysis
- A legal, regulatory and policy review
- Stakeholder consultation.
The project investigated how microgrids can result in:
- More solar energy deployment than a business as usual scenario
- Reduced cost per participating household
- An optimised demand profile, in network terms.
The final report is available on the ARENA website.(PDF, 2.7MB)