Consumer and utility interest in active participation in the distributed energy market 

Australian photovoltaic association (apva), CSIRO, the university of arizona

This project will develop the business models and regulatory frameworks required for active participation of electricity consumers in the distributed energy market.

As more and more Australian consumers begin to use photovoltaics (PV) and other forms of distributed energy (DE), such as solar water heaters and energy efficiency, downward pressure is being placed on electricity utilities’ traditional revenue streams.

This project aims to help develop a new market in DE services to extend utilities’ roles beyond only electricity supply and sales. Such innovation would require new business models and appropriate regulatory arrangements to be developed. It would also mean a significant change for customers from passive participation to active management of some combination of DE options. Thus, a detailed understanding of the range of ways in which customers and electricity utilities might like to participate in such a market is required.

The project team will use a number of methods to develop this understanding, including:

  • conducting focus groups with a cross section of the community to understand the issues and opportunities surrounding a DE market,
  • surveying a large number of end-users to ascertain their understanding and potential interest in participating in a DE market, and
  • interviewing distributed network service providers and electricity retailers to understand their interest in participating in such a DE market and how it may operate.

The results of this project will then be delivered through a report as well as a workshop for key stakeholders.

This project will be a collaborative effort, combing the strengths of both APVA and CSIRO. APVA will capitalise on its ability to disseminate information to members directly and to wider audiences via papers, reports, presentations and its public website. As Australia’s leading national scientific research organisation, CSIRO can collate and circulate research findings across a range of relevant domestic and international networks.  

Fact Sheet: Consumer and utility interest in active participation in the distributed energy market (PDF 348KB)