Solar intermittency: Australia’s clean energy challenge
Intermittency is one of the biggest barriers to the uptake of solar energy, however a new CSIRO report demonstrates that this challenge can be overcome.
29 November 2010 | Updated 14 June 2012
Sunshine is difficult to accurately forecast, can change rapidly due to moving clouds, cannot be controlled and is not a source of energy 24 hours a day.
However, CSIRO and partners are now on the path to solving the intermittency challenge with the completion of a world-first analysis of solar intermittency in the Australian context.
Download the full report or the summary brochure:
The study provides a greater understanding of the effects of solar intermittency on electricity grids, directly addressing the concerns of market and grid operators, solar installers and investors. Furthermore, the project found that:
- We can ‘fix’ intermittency. With knowledge and tools, such as solar forecasting and energy management, CSIRO can provide the information required to manage solar intermittency.
- We need a customised approach. Solar intermittency is not uniform, different sites, regions and countries require individual solutions. Local research and demonstration pilots are required. Australia has a unique electricity network and we need unique solutions.
- We need a highly flexible electricity grid. If large amounts of solar energy are to be used as a power source in the near future we need a grid designed with renewable energy sources in mind.
The project was made possible with funding from the Australian Solar institute (ASI) with in-kind support from CSIRO, Australian Energy Market Operator, and Energy Networks Association.
Read the full report: Solar intermittency: Australia's clean energy challenge.