DER Interoperability Assessment Framework
An Assessment Framework to Develop Interoperability Policy for Distributed Energy Resources in Australia
January 21, 2022
DER Interoperability Assessment FrameworkDownload Report
Like many electricity markets in the world, the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) has seen a rapid uptake of distributed energy resources (DER), including solar PV and batteries, connected at the distribution level. Indeed, Australia is a world leader in the rollout of DER, with one in four Australian homes already having solar panels, and the trend towards decentralisation and fragmentation of the electricity market is expected to continue in the coming decades.
This poses a unique set of opportunities and challenges to policy makers and consumers. Harnessing the benefits of DER for consumers (such as enabling low-cost and low-carbon generation) while operating the power system in a secure and reliable manner at lowest possible cost is a key challenge for policy makers. Technical standardisation, facilitating greater interoperability between DER, has been widely cited as a solution to this challenge, and as the key to unlocking and maximising consumer benefits from DER.
In this context, the Energy Security Board (ESB) has engaged FTI Consulting to develop an assessment framework that can help policy makers to evaluate, in a structured, objective and consistent manner, the benefits, costs and risks of proposed technical standards to support DER interoperability for the benefit of consumers. Our work has been informed by engagement with stakeholders (including representatives from relevant market bodies), and by ‘road testing’ the assessment framework using illustrative examples of technical standards. It has also fed into ESB’s public consultation on the matter.