Australian renewable-energy microgrids: A humble past, a turbulent present, a propitious future

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Abstract

As the global energy market undergoes a wholesale transformation accelerated by the need to decarbonise, a rapid transition to renewable energy and the mass deployment of distributed energy resources, autonomous energy networks or microgrids are emerging as an attractive mechanism for the delivery of electricity to end users. Yet in Australia, at least, relatively little is known about key aspects of microgrids that are fundamental to their successful deployment, not least the
more commercial and economic elements rather than the purely technical. Drawing on the extant global literature on microgrids, in this paper, we explore the most important of these aspects including business models, ownership and investment. Identifying the ambiguity, inconsistency and uncertainty evident in many of the feasibility studies currently in train across Australia, in this paper,
we highlight specific areas for future research. These research areas must be addressed if the full potential of microgrids is to be realised in the context of a global energy transition both domestically and internationally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2585
Number of pages20
JournalSustainability
Volume2022
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2022

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