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The challenge

Households and businesses are changing their energy consumption behaviour

Households and businesses are driving a transformation in the energy system through the adoption of new efficient and smart appliances, building performance improvements, electric vehicles (EVs), solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage.

At the same time, Australia is replacing large synchronous coal and gas-fired generators with renewable inverter-based resources (IBR) and distributed energy resources (DER).

Our ability to maintain affordable and reliable energy services through this transformation will require forecasting and planning. We'll need good data and analysis to model our changing energy system, and:

  • develop energy policy founded on a sound evidence base
  • forecast infrastructure requirements in a changing world
  • design effective business models that deliver value to Australian households and businesses.

Our response

Identifying and filling gaps in energy data and analysis

The National Energy Analytics Research (NEAR) program is a joint initiative of CSIRO, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Australian Government, to enhance the analytical capability and data availability of the Australian energy sector.

We work with stakeholders across the Australian energy sector to identify gaps in analytical capability and data availability, and undertake innovative research and development projects to fill them.

The National Energy Analytics Research (NEAR) Program infographic showing five key workstreams:

  1. Deep and ongoing stakeholder engagement: working with energy sector stakeholders to determine the critical facets of a fit-for-purpose NEAR Program data platform.
  2. Data sampling and collection: addressing high-priority gaps and developing statistically and ethically robust sampling methodologies for the collection of new primary energy data.
  3. Fusion of data sets: bringing together high-quality pre-existing datasets to provide a comprehensive view of the key energy data domains.
  4. Data innovation: leveraging cutting-edge science and research to pro-actively mange data privacy and delivering new insight and value for energy sector stakeholder.
  5. Interactive data: develop a robust, user-friendly and visually appealing method for accessing all elements of the NEAR Program data platform.
Key focus areas for a successful NEAR Program

The results

Better evidence to support policy and planning

Through engagement with energy researchers, policy makers, regulators, market operators and consumers, and solid analytics research, the NEAR program has so far:

  • improved the secure sharing of energy data among energy policymakers and planners, while protecting customer privacy and confidentiality, with data access agreements, data access platforms and data de-identification algorithms
  • extracted new insights from meter data to support improved energy policy and planning, including using disaggregation methods for characterising the end-use composition of demand, and clustering methods to better target policies and programs
  • analysed changes in building stock, its distribution and composition, and the subsequent impact on energy demand through remote sensor data processing
  • generated a rich picture of changes in technology and consumer behaviour and their impact on energy use through consumer energy surveys
  • developed improved energy forecasting methods for enhancing energy system operations, capacity planning and policymaking.

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