Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council


Governance of Distributed Energy Resources Technical Standards - Consultation

Publication date

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) in Australia includes millions of distributed air conditioners, hot water systems, pool pumps and other large appliances (load which is or could be flexible). Over 2.2 million rooftop PV systems and a few thousand small diesel generators and approximately 24,000 distributed batteries.

As DER uptake increases, nationally consistent standards for DER is important to support electrical system security, distribution network management and affordability for consumers, including through the sale of DER services. Given the pace of DER deployment, it is important that DER technical standards are put in place in a timely fashion for the industry.

In 2019, stakeholders highlighted technical standards as a foundational technical challenge. The requirement for new governance arrangements for technical standards was included in the DER Integration Workplan that was published in October.

The ESB commissioned a review into the Governance of DER Technical Standards (the Review) in December 2019. The review highlighted that to date the governance of DER technical standards had been fragmented, lacking clarity of roles and coordination. In addition, resourcing was inadequate and the pace of change slower than needed given the rapid deployment of DER into networks.

Progress since the Review

In March 2020, the COAG Energy Council (Council) agreed to implement measures to improve the governance of DER technical standards and develop new coordinating arrangements for DER technical standards. Through consultation with stakeholders in July and August on proposed governance arrangements, the ESB provided recommendations to Council for approval in October 2020. 

The July 2020 ESB Governance of DER Technical Standards Consultation Paper proposed the establishment of a new Governance Committee, convened under the AEMC, to oversee the development of DER technical standards to meet electrical system security requirements, support distribution network management and provide long-term affordability and choice for consumers, including through the sale of DER services.

The proposed arrangements for the governance of DER technical standards will create structures and processes that support the planning for, visioning of, development, enforcement and compliance of DER technical standard in a more permanent manner.

There were 2 other related activities underway to improve DER technical standards:

  1. AEMO is developing a set of initial minimum DER technical standards

  2. AEMC is assessing the associated rule change request submitted by AEMO to enable these initial standards to be put in place.

The consultation process consisted of:

Date Details
16 July 2020 Release of Consultation Paper
21 July 2020 Public webinar on the Consultation Paper held at 2pm
28 July 2020 Submissions due
August 2020 Consultation on draft rule change proposal
October 2020 Framework to Energy Ministers