As 2018, the first full year of Energy Live, draws to a close we’re looking back on the year that was and highlighting the industry stories that you enjoyed the most.

The Australian energy industry is a fast moving and multifaceted sector and with AEMO Energy Live we endeavour to keep market participants, stakeholders and energy consumers informed and engaged about all the latest developments and innovations. We are a committed thought leader and our aim is to enhance energy literacy and demystify some of the more complex areas of an already complicated sector!

Back in January we rolled out our energy facts and safety tips for summer (which remain relevant for the coming season) along with explaining via infographic what the strategic electricity reserve is and why it’s critical to mitigate any risks from extreme events or emergencies. Another very popular infographic and factsheet was our detailed overview of the National Electricity Market, one of the world’s longest interconnected power system, and how it works.

Batteries and battery storage were a big story in the industry throughout the year and Tesla, and the world’s largest battery, dominated April with our innovation story about the Hornsdale Power Battery Reserve Battery Energy Storage System (HPR) located near Jamestown in South Australia. Rated at 100 megawatts (MW) discharge and 80 MW charge, the HPR battery has an energy storage capacity of 129 megawatt hours (MWh). This means the HPR battery is able to provide 100 MW of services into the NEM, for a duration of 1.29 hours.

In July, AEMO released its inaugural Integrated Systems Plan (ISP), which was our comprehensive evaluation of the likely changes that will be occurring over the next 20 years across the National Electricity Market (NEM). “The NEM is at a critical point, and the 2018 ISP is a first, and very significant, step in adapting the national transmission system to meet current and future needs,” said AEMO MD and CEO, Audrey Zibelman.

There were a number or major innovations in the industry this year, and none soared higher than the launch of an unmanned, solar-powered aircraft by Airbus in July which broke the world record for the longest continuous flight. The Airbus Zephyr S has its operational base out of Wyndham airfield in Western Australia.

Another major development for the industry was the advent of Blockchain and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading which has given us a glimpse at the sector’s digital and people centric future. Technological advances in the industry continue to proliferate by the day with DLT, smart homes and businesses, electric vehicles and batteries (and battery storage), AI and machine learning all radically altering the way we live, work and use/distribute energy.

2018 gave us a number of extreme weather events and temperature records throughout the country, but in October there was new record set for minimum demand set in South Australia. Increased electricity generation from the proliferation of rooftop solar PV is now shifting demand peaks from their traditional models of daytime/night-time as peak/off-peak.

One big take away from 2018 is that the industry is constantly evolving and the introduction of some the innovative and technological advances to the sector that we’ve covered are changing things at a rapid rate.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed delving into all the latest news, insights, analysis and innovation from the industry, both here and abroad, and want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading, watching and listening to our content on Energy Live. From the team here at AEMO we want to wish you all a safe and enjoyable festive season and a very happy new year.

We’re looking forward to sharing lots of interesting energy related stories and exploring new topics with you in 2019. Energy Live returns on January 10th but in the meantime download our new app via the App Store on Apple or Android.