Broad adoption of clean distributed energy production technology including residential solar power systems could reduce the cost of Australia evolving into to a low-carbon country by as much as $130 billion by 2050, according to a new report released by CSIRO.
CSIRO’s research has also found that water used for electricity generation can be reduced by as much as 75 per cent through a combination of distributed energy technology and large-scale renewable energy such as solar farms.
Unlike CCS (Carbon Capture and Sequestration) technology that is still many years away from being commercially viable, CSIRO project leader Anthony Szatow points out that clean distributed energy technologies are available now and these options offer an immediate and cost effective response to climate change
The CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship report outlines the potential contribution distributed energy can make to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia and how it can be achieved. The report is the result of the Flagship’s three year project focusing on smart grids and examined the social, technological, environmental and economic value of widespread distributed energy use in Australia.
Distributed systems have the advantage of creating power closer to where it is consumed, minimizing line loss and reducing the need for power line infrastructure associated with electricity generating plants. The further the distance from the point of generation to the point of consumption, the more electricity is lost; usually as heat. Transmission and distribution losses in the USA and UK are around 7%. Decentralised power generation also offers advantages in relation to national security.