Greg Thorpe at Power Week Asia 2017 urges Asia to be “a little bit brave” embracing new technology

Last week saw Executive Director Greg Thorpe at Power Week Asia 2017 Conference in Bangkok. Greg contributed to a session on impact of renewable technology on electricity market design. Contributors were asked to focus on one theme. Greg talked about the importance of market design facilitating innovation, not stifling it with prescriptive rules. He suggested draft rules should be stress tested to identify how far external conditions could change before they fail and then monitored. He noted how these principles were important for some of the changes being seen in the Australian market and power systems. He noted examples such as: where once applicants for connection to networks were under pressure for how they increased fault levels but recent changes in technology has meant low fault levels are now a problem; and the now common concern about low inertia in big systems was once a problem confined to very small systems. In the Q&A session there was discussion about whether local Asian systems should sit out the transition or, as Greg suggested, be ‘a little bit brave’ and embrace new technology with eyes wide open.

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