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Year in Review Podcast

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In this podcast, RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson and ITK consultant David Leitch discuss the major events of 2016, and what to expect in 2017.

The focus is not just on technology – solar, storage and new market designs – but also on the politics, what the regulators will get up and what it means for consumers.

  

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    “South Australia hit by power outages following gale-force winds”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/28/south-australia-hit-by-power-outages-following-gale-force-winds

    The podcast implicitly suggests “storage” is a primary factor for evolving a cost effective and reliable grid, although locating RE close to population centres is also crucial for reliability of supply. And why not? What’s the obstacle? Podcast speaks of the role of “reverse auctions” and currently these have been large scale projects. Why can’t reverse auctions be implemented on a more medium scale – beginning with Australia’s most vulnerable population centres? Even though medium scale reverse auctions will have a slightly greater cent/MW construction cost in the short term, they will be infinitely cheaper in the long run – as a result of reduced distribution costs. Distribution costs are presently the main costs of a grid, and probably more so in the future, as the construction costs of wind and solar fall further. Distribution costs do not appear to be falling.
    Is our present National approach of large scale auctions simply to make the project look good to politicians and media in the short term, even though the approach offers less reliability of supply and much more costly in the long term? Why is this happening?
    There is no technical reason I see, Australia needs to suffer reduced reliability and increasing grid costs. In this way, future RE appears like real estate in the sense the value of future projects will be framed around “location, location, location”.