In this talk, I will be sharing our findings from our recently published report that quantifies the impact of small distributed solar on wholesale electricity prices and electricity demand. We are currently conducting analysis on the impact of large scale solar on the wholesale market and I will be incorporating these new results into the talk as well.
Australia is a global leader in the uptake of small distributed solar PV. Small solar PV systems are no larger than 100 kW and are most often found on the rooftops of homes and businesses. Due to their small size, these systems do not participate directly in the wholesale market and hence up until now, their impact on the wholesale market has been largely unknown. Our research uses data at five minute intervals for a full year to quantify the impact of distributed solar PV on NSW wholesale electricity prices and peak demand. We found that without small solar, the average wholesale electricity price could have been 33-50% higher. This represents a cost saving of $2.2-3.3 billion over a year, for all NSW consumers regardless of whether or not they have installed solar themselves.
Furthermore, small solar was found to significantly reduce both the severity (3%) and length of peak demand (58%)
These findings have considerable implications for the future of energy policy in Australia.
3 key takeaways from this presentation:
1. Solar significantly depresses average wholesale electricity prices via the merit order effect
2. Solar reduces both the length and severity of peak demand
3. Solar increases the volatility in the market