The region’s energy system has typically been characterised as centralised and vulnerable to network infrastructure failure from extreme climate events. However, the system can be viewed as in transition with change being driven by closure of coal fired power stations and penetration of renewable energy such as hydro and solar. The pace of renewable technological innovation is rapid and the ISJO sees a wide range of opportunities for renewable storage, green hydrogen, biogenic gas and off-shore wind turbines. Transition will require the development of policy to support community-based ownership of energy generation and storage to meet local peak demands. The ISJO will work to build strong community-government-business partnerships that foster innovation and investment in local scalable energy generation.
In developing a leading edge strategy to enhance the viability and resilience of isolated communities, this project models a storage system to support renewables potential, energy security and resilience in an isolated community. Investigating the benefits and challenges of such a model provides local data on supply, storage and capacity; required and viable infrastructure; and potential emissions reductions. The region’s energy system is currently characterised as a centralised system which can be vulnerable to network infrastructure failure. Under pressure during demands in peak tourist season and from severe climatic events, isolated communities can benefit from stable power through an energy resilience model. Identification and supply of appropriate renewable energy (e.g. solar PV) and battery storage assists communities in managing demand and providing a stable supply of renewables, will also reduce emissions from typical fossil fuel energy supply.