Beyond the Death Spiral

Model based projections for the rapid uptake of rooftop solar photovoltaics in Western Australia indicate that private capacity will be so large that the centralised network based electricity system will become disrupted in the 2020s. By 2050 private systems may produce around 85- 90% of projected electricity demands. In the interim period it may be more economically viable to avoid introducing large scale renewable energy to the network while planning for a completely renewable system by 2050 when rooftop solar approaches saturation levels.

Exploring the death spiral

Power networks worldwide are facing challenges from their own consumer base in the form of private, grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems, and emerging growth in accompanying energy storage. This paper reports the findings from a system dynamics model of the electricity system of Western Australia, used to explore plausible scenarios resulting from the impact of private solar and storage for the period 2015-2035.