Virtual power plants are revolutionizing Australia’s energy market

Australia has the most private rooftop solar panels in the world. One in four homes have their own solar panels. While this is fabulous for green energy generation, it also puts the country in another dilemma: how to rebuild an energy grid in which residents are largely generating their own power. Their solution? A virtual power plant.

Previously, the energy grid relied on a network of power plants constantly meeting demand with supply, but now that power is coming from such a high number of solar nodes, the grid has no way to regulate and redistribute this energy. A virtual power plant and a two-sided consumer market will create the infrastructure to match private solar power supply with demand. This includes not only redistribution but also better financial incentives for private solar to encourage more homes to participate in the stabilized decentralized grid.

A big part of making solar the primary electricity source for a country is creating enough stored electrons to provide power when demand exceeds supply, like once the sun goes down.

Bloomberg Green reporter Nathaniel Bullard explains the advantage of the new system will be: “two-sided markets, with the network owners and retailers being equally able to provide services wherever they’re needed most and to whoever will value them most.”

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