The City of Port Phillip sought AEF’s advice on the best way to finance its planned installation of 1.25 megawatts of solar PV systems across 75 buildings. AEF drew on its experience in facilitating Council corporate energy efficiency and renewable energy investment. We worked collaboratively with Council, providing preliminary options, then workshopping the results with senior Council staff, moving on to a draft report which was further refined before a final report was provided. The report explored a range of business models that could be used in deploying solar energy systems across Council assets. The report looked at the benefits and disadvantages of the different approaches that are currently available and advised Council on relevant factors that may impact the viability of solar installations.
Scoping and feasibility
Campaspe Shire Council engaged AEF to undertake a study to investigate and make recommendations on solar generation opportunities across key buildings at seven sites. AEF’s report to Council provided a step-by-step breakdown and assessment for each site. The report identified financial benefits, typical payback periods, technical limitations and implications for the local power grid. AEF also made recommendations on procurement, optimal sizing and usage of PV systems.
AEF worked with the Centroc group of councils in central NSW on the Council-led Energy Innovation Project. The project developed a process to scope out and assess a range of renewable energy projects identified by the councils in the region. We assisted in the preliminary development of a proposal for a local renewable energy project with potential funding partners.
AEF was contracted by Alpine Shire Council to review a range of renewable energy options available to the town of Harrietville. We delivered an options report that examined the current energy supply situation and indicated key areas of risk and opportunity. In particular the report examined the energy requirements of the town during critical incidents such as bushfires and considered the best means to ensure continuous supply. The report found that energy for business is a key issue (up to half of the town’s electricity use is within 7 local tourism businesses). AEF undertook this project in partnership with Enhar.
One of the most common arguments against renewable energy (particularly solar) is its inability to provide baseload generation. Here Comes the Sun sought to address this issue by investigating the viability of microgrids. This means that small communities can install solar arrays with excess generating capacity and store any excess generation in batteries. The stored electricity can be used when the community’s solar arrays are not generating enough energy to meet its needs. AEF used a combination of research tools including: Energy demand profile modelling Financial cost-benefit modelling Consumer surveys Interviews and focus groups Logistical analysis A legal, regulatory and policy review Stakeholder consultation. The project investigated how microgrids can result in: More solar energy deployment than a business as usual scenario Reduced cost per participating household An optimised demand profile, in network terms. The project was initiated by AEF, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and delivered by AEF
AEF was commissioned by the Victorian Building Commission to undertake research to investigate the impact of differing levels of residential thermal performance upon energy, financial and greenhouse gas savings, comfort levels, and construction cost. The main objective was to identify and analyse the benefits and costs associated with energy efficient homes, and different approaches to delivering high performance homes. AEF undertook the research in collaboration with Net Balance. Objective The objective of the research was to determine to what extent (and to what point) energy efficiency investments in residential buildings make good economic sense for the home owner. This is in the context of a “whole-of-life” analysis of the costs and benefits, in a context of the broader issue of housing affordability. Outcomes The final report was based on case studies and was directly usable by the Building Commission in the form of fact sheets and other capacity building material.
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science contracted AEF to undertake a scoping study for an evaluation of the benefits and costs resulting from the introduction of the 6-star energy efficiency standard for housing in the Building Code of Australia from 2010. This required us to review the methodology used by CSIRO for evaluating the costs and benefits resulting from the introduction of the 5 star standard and to propose at least one, or alternative options for a statistically valid, cost effective methodology for undertaking a study to evaluate the actual costs and benefits of the 6 star standard. AEF delivered the project in partnership with Pitt & Sherry.