Lessons from Australia: Integrating high levels of renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DER) on the grid

DATE: Wednesday 27 March 2024

TIME: 09h00 to 11h15 SA time (GMT+2)

PLATFORM: MS Teams Webinar

COST: No cost, free-of-charge, all welcome

Hosted by: EE Business Intelligence and Power Futures Lab at UCT GSB

Supported by: GET.transform, South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN), Investec and the South African Independent Power Producer Association (SAIPPA)

Register to attend the webinar here


Following a welcome and some words of housekeeping by Chris Yelland of EE Business Intelligence, Prof Anton Eberhard of the UCT Graduate School of Business will give an opening presentation. Thereafter, five expert presenters will each have a 15-minute slot to present their views on the subject. This will be followed by a 30-minute open discussion and Q & A session facilitated Christine Juta of the Power Futures Lab at the UCT Graduate School of Business.

Participants and presenters

  • Anton Eberhard, Professor Emeritus, Power Futures Lab, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town.
  • Prof Bruce Mountain, director, Victoria Energy Policy Centre (VEPC), Australia, presenting: “An overview of developments in Australia”.
  • Presenter to be advised, presenting on: “Ensuring grid stability in the journey to 100% renewables” (to be confirmed).
  • Dr Gabrielle Kuiper, DER specialist and director, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), presenting on: “The revolution in distributed energy resources”.
  • Ronald Marais, strategic grid planning manager, Eskom Transmission, presenting on: “What has South Africa achieved, what can it learn around increasing shares of renewable energy on the grid”.
  • Nhlanhla Ngidi, head of electricity and energy, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), presenting on: “Developments in distributed energy resources in South Africa, and the implications for municipalities”.
  • Christine Juta, researcher and PhD candidate, Power Futures Lab, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, moderating the Q & A session.

Register to attend the webinar here

Background and objectives

The share of variable solar and wind energy on the grid is growing rapidly. This creates new challenges for market and system operation, including ensuring adequate quality and reliability of supply, as well as appropriate pricing signals.

Distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar PV and batteries are multiplying, also creating challenges around system stability, but, along with demand-side resources, are offering new opportunities through virtual power plants and smart participation in new power markets, including for ancillary services.

Australia now has one of the highest grid penetrations of solar and wind energy, and distributed energy resources globally.

Prof Anton Eberhard recently led a study tour to Australia of senior executives in NERSA, Eskom, metropolitan municipalities and SALGA to learn from their experience. These lessons will be shared in the webinar and some of the experts they met will make presentations. Eskom and local government distributors will also share their perspectives.


09h00 – 09h05: Welcome and housekeeping by Chris Yelland, EE Business Intelligence

09h05 – 09h20: Opening address by Prof Anton Eberhard, Power Futures Lab

09h20 – 19h35: Presentation by Prof Bruce Mountain, VEPC

09h35 – 09h50: Presentation by Chris Davies, AEMO

09h50 – 10h00: Comfort break

10h00 – 10h15: Presentation by Dr Gabrielle Kuiper, IEEFA

10h15 – 10h30: Presentation by Ronald Marais, Eskom Transmission

10h30 – 10h45: Presentation by Nhlanhla Ngidi, SALGA

10h45 – 11h14: Q & A session facilitated by Christine Juta, Power Futures Lab

11h14 – 11h15: Thanks and conclusion

Register to attend the webinar here