The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Government and the CSIRO jointly launched the National Energy Analytics and Research (NEAR) Program on 21 February 2019.

NEAR is an analytics program that pioneers the collection, integration and enhancement of energy sector information, which is available to researchers, the public and industry participants via a web-based platform to support better consumer outcomes.

Building on the Energy Use Data Model (EUDM) pilot program to address critical gaps in energy use data, the NEAR Program will also include an extensive research program, using the latest data science to develop new datasets to solve emerging problems.

Violette Mouchaileh, AEMO Executive General Manager, Emerging Markets & Services, said that the energy sector is rapidly transforming, and that data is pivotal to planning and operating our future energy systems and markets.

“Changes in the energy sector are being driven by consumer choices, behaviours and other factors, and we’re committed to meeting these emerging market, consumer and stakeholder expectations in a data-driven, technology-enabled energy sector,” said Ms Mouchaileh.

“The availability of high-quality data and timely research to parties across the national energy sector are crucial to delivering a secure, reliable and efficient energy future for all consumers.

Collaboration between AEMO and the CSIRO is already underway, integrating existing smart meter data and creating new datasets using CSIRO algorithms that will lead to enhanced system and market efficiency, as well contribute to valuable projects underway, such as DER integration and AEMO’s Integrated System Plan.

“The outputs from the NEAR Program will be highly beneficial to identify where the system is at risk and where there are opportunities to activate emerging demand response mechanisms during periods of extreme heat,” said Ms Mouchaileh.

The NEAR Program has delivered a rich collection of interactive data products, such as identifying key drivers of household energy consumptions right through to the shifting need for heating and cooling across Australia.

This research is available on interactive data dashboards, allowing users to visualise what the data is showing, filter data fields or dig deeper into the underlying data to inform strategic decisions.

“As a partner on the NEAR Program, we’re working on new ways to enhance forecasting and modelling, but also on the innovative programs such as DER integration and demand response,” said Ms Mouchaileh.

“This partnership will contribute to our DER program, which is designed to harness the value of scalable DER resources to maintain a secure and reliable system, leading to efficient price outcomes for all consumers,” she said.