Peter McIntyre today told delegates at the Electric Energy Society of Australia conference that the electricity industry needs to adapt and market the benefits of its services to address the very real possibility of an industry ‘death spiral’.
The fall in electricity demand, coupled with a rise in costs has been identified as a leading cause of consumers generating their own electricity and potentially leaving the grid.
While the idea of an industry ‘death spiral’ is considered an easily avoidable long term concern, the head of Australia’s largest transmission network service provider said more needs to be done.
One sustainable solution Mr McIntyre supported was for the Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation by 2050 report by ClimateWorks, which considers electrification vital to decarbonising Australia’s economy while maintaining economic prosperity.
The electricity industry accounts for only 35 per cent of carbon emissions in Australia. By supporting growth in renewable energy generation, and transitioning transport and industry to electricity use, deep carbonisation by 2050 is both socially and economically feasible.
Recognising the need to grow the market, TransGrid is investing in and enabling research in sustainable energy projects such as the iDemand project and fleet electric vehicles.
The iDemand project provides solar generation and storage of up to 100kW to manage peak demand at TransGrid’s Wallgrove site; this is equal to 40 houses in the Western Sydney area. Data from this project will be shared with researchers and the public, with suggestions for improvements encouraged. The iDemand website is due to be launched in November 2014.
Mr McIntyre has also recently spent a week driving a TransGrid fleet electronic car and will soon be releasing a document of his experiences.