Electricity network planners and operators should come together in a national summit to incorporate modern technologies and energy management tools in the rebuild of bushfire damaged infrastructure, a leading environmental organisation has said.
The Total Environment Centre has issued the call to use the post-bushfire re-construction efforts as an opportunity to respond strategically when replacing electricity network infrastructure.
After a summer that continues to impact communities across large portions of Australia’s south-eastern States, a significant amount of electricity network infrastructure needs to be repaired and rebuild after being destroyed by fires.
“We are risking spending tens of millions of dollars on rebuilding the wrong infrastructure after the bushfire crisis,” the Total Environment Centre’s energy market advocate Mark Byrne said.
“Should we continue to supply thousands of properties and small towns via long skinny power lines running through dense bushland? For individual properties the alternatives include stand-alone power systems based on based on solar energy and batteries. For small communities it could mean microgrids that are either standalone, or that can be kept running when the main grid goes down.”
“These alternatives could end up saving everyone money, but at the moment networks have their hands tied by outdated regulations that stop them from going down this route,” Byrne added.
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