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Energy, Environment

Monash expert: Wild weather aftermath – the security of Victoria’s energy grid and the need for renewables

Monash University 2 mins read

Monash University experts are available to comment on the power blackout and related aftermath as a result of wild weather in Victoria yesterday, and how our energy grids could be made more resilient in the future. 

 

Associate Professor Roger Dargaville, Director Monash Energy Institute, Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Contact details: +61 450 501 248 or media@monash.edu  

  • Energy systems 
  • Grid resilience 
  • Energy storage
  • Renewable energy

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Dargaville:

“On Tuesday afternoon, a severe storm belt with wind gusts over 100km/h, extreme lightning and torrential rain caused havoc across Melbourne. Amongst lots of localised power outages due to low voltage power lines being damaged was the destruction of several towers supporting the parallel 500kV lines between Melbourne and Geelong. The effect of losing that vital infrastructure was to ‘trip off’ the Loy Yang A power station.

 

“As in the case of South Australia in 2016, we have seen instances where an entire state’s grid was impacted leaving everyone statewide without power. The fact that the Victorian grid did not completely fail is a testament to the resilience in the system and the safety mechanisms in place to protect vital infrastructure.

 

“Distributed renewable energy systems offer both more vulnerability due to more infrastructure spread over wider areas, but also additional resilience as losses of individual power lines don’t have the same impact of losing large centralised power stations.

 

“As a result of climate change we are bound to have more wild weather conditions in the future and our energy systems must learn to adapt and grapple with such situations more often. Additional system security measures such as redundancy i.e., extra energy generation beyond just what is forecast to be required, and fast response storage technologies will help make the system more robust.” 

Read more of Associate Professor Dargaville’s commentary on yesterday’s events here

 

Associate Professor Behrooz Bahrani, Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Contact details: +61 450 501 248 or media@monash.edu  

 

  • Grid controls

  • Microgrids

  • Energy storage

 

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Bahrani:

“The severe storm in Victoria, amplified by a global temperature increase of 1.5°C, underscores the pressing need to integrate renewable energy into our grid. This incident serves as a wake-up call, reminding us that the resilience of our power systems is now more critical than ever in the face of climate change.

 

“Building on the urgency highlighted by Victoria's power outages, it's clear that accelerating the adoption of renewables is not just an environmental imperative but a strategic necessity for energy security. The transition to green energy sources is key to mitigating future climate risks and ensuring a sustainable power supply.

 

“The challenge now is not only to embrace renewables but to master the complexities of integrating them into our existing grid. This involves advancing smart grid technologies to enhance flexibility and reliability. As we move forward from Victoria’s storm event, our focus must be on creating a robust, adaptable energy infrastructure capable of surviving the impacts of climate change while supporting our transition to a low-carbon future.”

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu 

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