Dispatchable electricity generation is the new frontier for renewables. There is general agreement that electricity systems need a significant share of dispatchable generation to complement and balance the increasing share of variable renewable generation. To better understand the renewable options, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) commissioned a team lead by the ITP Thermal working with The Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF) and ITK consulting (ITK) to compare technology combinations that are commercially available at large scale.
The combinations studied were wind or PV driven batteries, pumped hydro energy storage or hydrogen, bioenergy, concentrating solar thermal and geothermal. Costs of installation and cost of energy and other aspects were compared as a function of hours of delivery or storage. The study developed an innovative subsystem based approach to modelling installed cost as a function of configuration and system size for each technology combination. This was used to examine the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of optimised systems under real input conditions as a function of duration of storage or operation. In addition, the additional cost of reserving an additional amount of stored energy for infrequent strategic use (e.g cloudy windless week) was considered along with a range of other points of comparison.
ITP Thermal was commissioned by the South Australian Government in 2018 to identify existing hydrogen research and development (R&D) capabilities within South Australia and the opportunities to extend these capabilities given local, national and international expertise, current and future hydrogen projects and industry developments. We found South Australia’s local R&D capabilities are world class, applicable to a broad range of hydrogen-related research, development and commercialisation challenges, and are attracting strong interest and engagement from industry. We also identified opportunities for commercially oriented R&D to be stimulated through the creation of a local hydrogen market and industry in South Australia as well as further enhancement of R&D capabilities in South Australia through the targeting of research collaborations both nationally and internationally. Further, we have identified capability development opportunities in distribution and systems analysis to support optimal design of hydrogen infrastructure, scope for South Australia to grow its involvement in relevant International Energy Agency (IEA) programs and to develop research collaborations with key trading partners such as Japan and South Korea.
This work led to a Public Report.
ITP was commissioned by the Asian Development Bank to undertake a collation of renewable energy infrastructure project cost data in the Pacific in 2018. The technical input from ITP resulted in a publication by the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) in 2019. PRIF is a multi-development partner coordination, research and technical assistance facility that supports infrastructure development in the Pacific. The report analysed the capital costs of large solar photovoltaic, wind and hydro generation projects built in the Pacific over the past decade and found there is a large range of project costs for renewable generation projects in the Pacific. This is due to a variety of factors including remoteness, scale, local capacity, perceptions of risk, design parameters and any upgrades for existing infrastructure. There are numerous challenges in obtaining cost breakdown data and making like-with-like comparisons.
The cost template used for the report is available here. ITP recommends that it be made a mandatory component of procurement tenders for renewable generation projects to improve the consistency of cost data collection.
In 2018, ITP Renewables undertook a review of the outcomes from investment by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in solar research, development and pilot-scale demonstration projects, as well as associated PhD and Post-Doc Fellowships.
The review collated and synthesised the rationale and outcomes of solar photovoltaic (57% of funding), concentrating solar thermal (33% of funding) and associated solar enabling (10% of funding) R&D projects, in order to communicate activities and achievements; and to articulate the significance and implications of research outcomes. A system of standard metrics was developed by which each project could be documented and sorted, thus allowing overall program coverage and outcomes to be readily assessed. A survey was also conducted of recipients of the Scholarship and Fellowship program.
The review led to the publication of a Report which is also available on the knowledge section of the ARENA website.
For this UNDP assignment, ITP Renewables undertook three consultation missions in Nauru to:
Nauru is one of the world’s smallest countries and it faces economic, environmental and social challenges. The Nauru Utilities Corporation consumes more than 9 million litres of diesel per year to provide electricity and water. This is forecast to increase after a new 11kV line is built through the centre of the island in 2018 to connect loads that currently self-generate.
The Nauru Energy Road Map (NERM) outlines strategies and Activities in six key areas, power, petroleum, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and capacity building. ITP consulted with a wide range of stakeholders on the implementation of Activities in the 2014 NERM. A workshop was held to facilitate input for the updated NERM and to improve its monitoring and evaluation plan. It is planned to publish the updated NERM on the Pacific Regional Depository website in the first half of 2018.
The Legislative Gap Analysis Report included reviewing legislation and regulations relevant to the energy sector, identifying gaps and prioritising recommendations.
In 2015, we led a group commissioned by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to investigate Renewable energy options for Australian industrial gas users. The project included:
- an assessment of the current gas market in Australia
- a technical assessment of the existing renewable technologies which could substitute gas use for heat generation in Australian industry
- an economic assessment of gas substitution with renewable heat in Australian industry.
This work led to the publication of a Summary Report, detailed Technical Report and Financial Analysis Tool on the ARENA website.
If you are interested in discussing the report findings please Contact Us.
ARENA has been promoting these publications at Renewables for Industrial Processes – Industry Workshops and has published the presentations from these workshops.
In 2013 ITP Renewables was commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undertake a case study of the three Tokelau PV/diesel mini-grids. The study provides a technical overview of the systems’ design and how they were built, along with challenges that the construction team faced and how they were overcome. The report also gives a cost breakdown for the project, which will help future project planners in estimating the cost of a similar project in a remote island environment. Finally, the performance to date of the systems is analyzed, and shows that the system is performing as expected for the cloudy months of the year.
You can read a copy of the final report.
From the publisher, Woodhead Publishing: “Concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is poised to take its place as one of the major contributors to the future clean energy mix. Using straightforward manufacturing processes, CSP technology capitalises on conventional power generation cycles, whilst cost effectively matching supply and demand though the integration of thermal energy storage”. Concentrating solar power technology provides a comprehensive review of this exciting technology, from the fundamental science to systems design, development and applications.
Our Head of ITP Solar Thermal, Dr Keith Lovegrove, edited this important reference book in CSP technology. You can download a copy of it from Woodhead Publishing.
In 2012 the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) commissioned ITP Renewables to undertake a review of the potential for concentrating solar power in Australia. After extensive stakeholder consultation, including a series of workshops with participants from industry, research and government, the resulting report and summary for stakeholders are now available.
You can download a copy of ITP Renewable’s CSP in Australia Summary Report or Full Report.
In 2011 ITP Renewables produced a report for the Australian Department of the Environment (formerly the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) and the Government of India. The report analysed the context, barriers and policy options for the growth of the Concentrating Solar Power in India. The document was written for use by policy makers and government staff in Australia and India, but is also of interest to the general public, CSP developers and investors.
Read the CSP in India report.
In 2010 ITP Renewables produced a report for the Asia-Pacific Economic Coorperation (APEC) Energy Working Group that characterises the main issues with grid integration of stochastic and partially predictable renewable energy technologies. The report reviews the approaches currently being used to address these issues including research and development activities. It identifies best practices, and outlines future research and development activities that may be required to fully integrate distributed generation into 21st century electricity networks. Finally, it discusses the factors that influence the potential for applying best practices throughout the APEC region.
You can read the summary report.