WA schools, households, and small businesses are continuing to turn to rooftop solar in unprecedented numbers, according to a State Government report.
The Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap two-year progress report said the Government’s focus was adapting its policies and planning to accommodate the rooftop solar surge that added 374MW of capacity in 2021.
Energy Minister Bill Johnston said new requirements for rooftop solar were implemented because of the potential energy security risks associated with the high uptake.
“The new requirements leverage recent technological improvements to allow management of solar output in emergencies, while supporting continued rooftop solar uptake,” Mr Johnston said.
“Action taken to allow management of rooftop solar output during emergencies has helped take immediate system security risks off the table.”
The Emergency Solar Management system was introduced to ensure security of energy by allowing for batteries with an inverter capacity of 5kW or less to be remotely turned down or switched off during low load periods.
However, the report said that continued investment would reduce the need for the system in the long term.
Because of the accelerated rooftop solar uptake, requirements for new inverters to have improved voltage ride-through capability were brought forward from
December 2021 to July 2021.
A tariff pilot which lowered the cost per kilowatt hour during peak solar radiation was implemented to encourage the use of overflowing energy.
The pilot aims to conclude from mid-2022 following feedback from surveys into its effectiveness to offer new opt-in tariffs to customers.
The Federal Government recently announced updates to its Paris Agreement pledge by increasing its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Part of this commitment includes a $20 billion investment in Australia’s electricity grid to unlock greater penetration of renewable energy, complemented by an additional $300 million to deliver community batteries and solar banks across Australia.