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Potential for new-era data services from consumer electricity devices: new reports help to fill out the picture

by Wattwatchers Team
posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

 

The ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program conducted reviews for the My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project, which is led by Wattwatchers Digital Energy with grant-funding support from ARENA

 

 

Opportunities to capture and use energy data from intelligent, distributed devices installed in homes and enterprises have been explored in research reports commissioned by Wattwatchers Digital Energy.

The two reports – based on literature reviews conducted by the Australian National University (ANU), via its Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program (BSGIP) – have now been released for public use. 

The reports have also been uploaded to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which emphasises knowledge generation and sharing from its grant projects.

Key Findings

  • In Australia and Europe, household savings from the deployment of utility smart meters have only been modest to date.

  • Consumers need to be better supported with energy management tools and information, so they can continue to play a central role in the global transition to a low carbon society.

  • Consumers can be supported through a better understanding of socio-economic and cultural factors, better communication and the provision of education programs.

  • Technical research to date has largely focused on customer consumption behaviour with almost no research into the use of energy data to help monitor the stability of the grid.

The reports are:

  1. Consumer engagement in energy data services: recommendations moving forward – (Authored by Marnie Shaw and Hedda Ransan-Cooper, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program, Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering, ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science – CRICOS Provider No. 00120C, the Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia www.anu.edu.au)
  2. A Review of Publicly Available Energy Data Sets – (Authored by Shubhankar Kapoor, Björn Sturmberg, Marnie Shaw, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program, Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering, The Australian National University. Canberra ACT 2601 Australia, CRICOS Provider No. 00120C)

 

Report 1: Consumer engagement in energy data services: recommendations moving forward

This review references 19 Australian and international sources. 

It describes the household energy savings outcomes from utility smart meter deployments, in Australia and Europe as ‘disappointing’, ascribing this to poor communications, inadequate understanding of socio-economic and cultural factors that impact consumers, and a lack of research into what consumers actually need most.

In Australia, specifically, it also highlighted a lack of third-party access to consumer energy data from utility smart meters – a major issue that is now being addressed by the forthcoming Consumer Data Right for Energy, work on which is led by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The report says that energy data can support consumers to continue to play a central role in the global transition to a low carbon society, identifying that the ‘primary overall goal’ of collecting and making better use of energy data is to provide consumers with accurate and understandable information on energy consumption and energy sources. 

As a secondary goal, it highlighted how further energy data services also can help electricity systems to manage peak demand, ancillary services and distributed generation, stressing that data for these services needs to be accessed in a safe, fair and transparent way, with appropriate compensation (i.e. to consumers). 

To ensure this, the review says, we need engagement and supporting technology, with key areas for attention including:

  • Social and cultural factors need to be considered

  • Trust is key – objective information should be provided by trusted sources, including research organisations and universities 

  • Education programs should be simple and effectively communicated through tailored mediums, and

  • Engagement should be two-way as opposed to just raising awareness or selling solutions

 

READ THE FULL REPORT

 

Report 2: A Review of Publicly Available Energy Data Sets 

This review looks at 24 of the largest, publicly-available energy data sets, from Australian and international sources, to understand what information has been collected, and how the information has been used. 

According to the ANU report of the review, most of the research carried out on these data sets has made use of power and energy variables with fewer using voltage and current.

‘Almost no research has made use of frequency measurements,’ says the report. ‘Our results suggest that most research on energy data has been carried out to inform customer consumption behaviour, with noticeably less work having been done using energy data to monitor the stability of the network and to make investment decisions for the future grid.’ 

In particular, from a technical perspective, it recommends that future studies and research should include more information about: 

  • Where metering devices are located in the network, and

  • Frequency and phase values (to allow more work to be done with frequency stabilisation or phasor base control). 

 

READ THE FULL REPORT

 

Next Steps

The findings and recommendations of both reports will be incorporated into the development of the MEM platform by Wattwatchers, which is aimed at providing integrated data solutions for the benefit of consumers, the electricity system, and the wider economy.

The ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program is hosting a three-year PhD student project that is allied to the MEM. The project is focused on using energy data to monitor the stability of the electricity network, for a more resilient future grid.

About the ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program (BSGIP):

Established in 2018, the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program is a research, development and demonstration program supported by industry, and state and federal governments. The Program has a strong focus on an interdisciplinary, socio-techno-economic approach to the delivery of real-world energy and associated systems projects. The program’s academic expertise ranges across computer sciences, engineering, physics and chemistry, to economics and the social sciences. The Program is hosted within the Australian National University by the Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering and the Research School of Chemistry. More information at https://bsgip.com

 

FURTHER INQUIRIES: 

Murray Hogarth, Director of Communications and Community Networks, Wattwatchers – M 0417 267235 E murray@wattwatchers.com.au

 

ARENA ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This Project received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.

 

 

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