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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Microgrids For Major Disasters: Ensuring Australia’s Grid Is Prepared for a Changing Climate

By Angus Brawley, Griffith University, UNFCCC, 2022

Angus is studying a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics at Griffith University. His policy paper focuses on Microgrids For Major Disasters: Ensuring Australia’s Grid Is Prepared for a Changing Climate.

Executive Summary

With the impacts of climate change already being observed across Australia and rapidly intensifying, adaptation mechanisms1 are required to protect individuals, communities, and the natural environment. The focus on energy with relation to climate change has historically been dominated by mitigation efforts in the sector, however, extreme weather and natural disasters in recent years have exposed the shortcomings and vulnerabilities of the power system in its present centralised form, as hundreds of thousands of individuals have been left without power for days to weeks during times of crisis when it is needed most. Hence, it is clear that development and improvement is required to ensure the Australian energy system and vulnerable communities are resilient in a changing climate. In order to address these issues, this proposal recommends the establishment of a multi-level governance ‘climate ready grid’ program with the aim to identify regional energy vulnerabilities, co-design solutions and operational/business models, working alongside community to address these issues. The proposal also recommends the establishment of a national framework and guidelines on power sharing and storage for renewables based microgrids2 to address the current prohibitive legislation in this area and unify microgrid policy, which is presently divided.

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