The declining cost of utility, or large-scale, renewables has spurred its rapid development. This new development, combined with the rapid uptake of rooftop solar, has led to energy demand that is ‘peakier’.
This is where there can be a surplus of energy supply in the day when there is lots of wind and solar energy to carry load, followed by a sudden drop in supply when the sun goes down, and demand increases as everyone arrives home, puts the heater on and starts cooking dinner.
This change in the traditional supply/demand dynamic has prompted the need for capacity that firms renewables, otherwise known as ‘firming capacity’. Firming capacity is flexible energy supply that can be activated to top-up supply when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, or even if there is a sudden concentration in demand.
We perceive this adaptable and flexible energy to be a priority for new energy supply and that is reflected in the projects we’re investing in.
How are we investing in ‘firm supply’?
AGL has about $1.9b of new energy supply projects completed or in construction, with a further $2b in the pipeline. Of these projects, close to 1,000 MW of supply, will provide some of the firming support that our market needs.