Clayton, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- August 20, 2012 - Australia’s national research organization CSIRO and GE are convening a Future Grid Forum to evaluate options available for Australia’s future electricity system from an end-to-end perspective.

The process, which is expected to take place over 12 to 18 months, will be evidence-based and consensus driven, with the aim to progressively shortlist the various options, along with their regulatory barriers, risks, benefits and trade-offs, the action agenda required to move them forward, and the roles of each stakeholder in achieving that goal.

The CSIRO will coordinate the project and partner with selected groups, consultants and academics to deliver quantitative analysis dynamically informed through eight facilitated workshops.

According to the CSIRO it is expected that the Forum will help shift Australia’s energy debate to a more whole-of-system perspective, provide a roadmap to support investment that will lead to the lowest cost outcomes for electricity users, and inform considerations around new regulatory models.

Possible potential areas of future grid consideration include:

  • Status quo/counterfactual (based on current industry settings)
  • High penetration of renewables
  • High demand side participation, including distributed generation
  • Socially constrained/unconstrained technology adoption
  • Australia as a clean energy importer (or exporter)
  • Evolution under high uncertainty.

The Forum will kick off later this month, with participants including electricity generators, transmission and distribution network operators, energy retailers, end-user customer representatives, and state and federal regulators and government.