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Australia - Smart Energy - Trends and Analyses - 2015


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Australia - Smart Energy - Trends and Analyses - 2015

With a better understanding of the complexity involved in the transformation of the electricity industry the words smart or future energy' are becoming more prominent. BuddeComm believes that the term smart grids' is too narrow and that eventually smart energy' will become the accepted terminology especially once the communications developments in national mobile and fixed broadband networks start to converge with smart grid developments. Smart grids unfortunately have become synonymous with smart meters, again leading to too narrow a view on this market.

Smart energy signifies a system that is more integrated and scalable, and which extends through the distribution system from businesses and homes and back to the sources of energy. Developments at the edge of the network will increasingly determine its future direction. A smarter energy system has sensors and controls embedded into its fabric. Because it is interconnected there is a two-way flow of information and energy across the network, including information on pricing. In addition to this it is intelligent, making use of proactive analytics and automation to transform data into insights and to efficiently manage resources.

This links with the telecoms development known as M2M or the internet of things' (IoT). For this to happen various functional areas within the energy ecosystem must be engaged consumers; business customers; energy providers; regulators; the utility's own operations; smart meters; grid operations; work and asset management; communications; and the integration of distributed resources.

With energy consumption expected to grow worldwide by more than 40% over the next 25 years demand in some parts of the world could exceed 100% in that time. This will produce an increase in competition for resources, resulting in higher costs. In an environment like this energy efficiency will become even more important.

Quite apart from any increased demand for energy in specific markets, the move to more sustainable technologies for example, electric vehicles and distributed and renewable generation will add even more complexity to operations within the energy sector. As was mentioned at the COP20 in Lima, technological innovations will have to play a larger role in climate change adaptation.

Concerns about issues such as energy security, environmental sustainability, and economic competitiveness are triggering a shift in energy policy, technology and consumer focus. This, in turn, is making it necessary to move on from the traditional energy business model. Renewable energy, linked to distributed energy systems and battery storage, is going to be the game-changer here.

As a consequence electricity utilities could end up in a spiral of death' situation similar to that of the companies that invested in the building of the internet infrastructure they may own the means of delivering electricity and associated services, but may not be able to take advantage of the new business opportunities that will arise. This will limit their opportunities for future growth. Instead companies should develop a vortex of opportunities'.

Another problem will surface when, due to users reducing consumption and producing energy themselves through energy efficiency strategies, the traditional pricing models become inadequate in terms of maintaining the energy infrastructure.

The potential for transformation of the energy industry to smart energy is still at a very early stage. Valuable advances have already been made in some areas but consensus needs to be reached regarding a collective approach to interoperability and technical standards.


1. Synopsis
2. Industry analysis mid 2015
3. SGA Industry analysis
4. Disruptive retail plan for renewable energy
5. Challenges for the future
6. Delighting and exciting electricity customers
7. Electricity death spiral'
8. Energy industry in transition
9. Storage technologies making progress
10. Energy retail market developments
11. People power in the energy market
12. Key international Developments
12.1 Googles acquisition of Nest will affect the utilities
12.2 Resource and energy management are hot issues all around the world
12.3 Energy Internet of Things
12.4 Transactive Energy
12.5 Linking ICTs with climate action for a low-carbon economy
12.6 The UN Broadband Commission and RIO+20
12.6.1 Renewing our commitment towards sustainable development
12.6.2 Broadband for the integration of the three pillars of sustainable development
12.6.3 Turning vision into action
12.7 OECD publishes report on internet of things and M2M
12.7.1 New Technology
12.7.2 New Markets
12.7.3 New Policies
12.8 Driving smarter energy usage through consumer education
12.9 Smart technology to improve generation performance
13. Business analyses
13.1 Australian Smart grids from a global perspective
13.2 Business case for smart grid appears strong
13.3 Home Automation Service Strategies
14. Key Analyses Australia
14.1 Ground-breaking standard for smart grids
14.2 Investments in the Australian smart grid market
14.3 New business opportunities for mining and energy industries
14.4 Energy in Australia remains cheap
14.5 Peak demand requires a smarter energy distribution concept
14.6 Government should show leadership in smart energy policies
14.7 Smart technologies challenging traditional energy scenarios
14.8 The business case for solar energy is getting closer
15. Key developments Australia
15.1 AGL launches battery storage
15.2 Households can save $100-$200
15.3 Spending increases to $2.4 billion in 2012
15.4 NBN facilitates wind farm
15.5 Fuel Poverty
16. Surveys and statistics
16.1 2014 Australian Energy Update
16.1.1 Energy consumption
16.1.2 Energy production
16.1.3 Electricity generation
16.1.4 Energy trade
16.1.5 UBS: Tesla Powerwall can deliver six-year payback in Australia
16.2 Australian energy survey
16.3 Worldwide smart grid spending will reach $46.4B in 2015
16.4 Microgrids revenue to reach $17.3 Billion by 2017
17. Industry reform
17.1 Two decades in the making
17.2 Retail reform
17.3 Deregulation of retail prices
17.4 NEM Review
17.5 Network Costs
17.6 Network pricing reform
18. Separate background reports
Table 1 - Machine-to-machine applications and technologies, by dispersion and mobility
Exhibit 1 - Key developments in the industry moving forwards
Exhibit 2 - How to move forwards
Exhibit 3 - Example - Solar PV

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