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What is renewable energy curtailment and how does it affect rooftop solar? | ABC Science

The ABC reports, 'Rooftop solar owners in every state and territory may be surprised to hear their panels are often being curtailed. For a few unlucky homes, curtailment may be reducing annual output by up to 20 per cent — and the owners may not even know.

So what causes curtailment, how can it be avoided, and will it affect the uptake of rooftop solar?'

ACAP UNSW researcher Baran Yildiz explains, when the household's solar inverter — which acts as an intermediary between the electricity grid and the home — senses too much voltage in the local grid, it automatically switches off the home's rooftop panels. "This happens the majority of the day for some households," he said.

"On average we see curtailment across all households of 1 per cent or less, but some households are losing 10 per cent per year and some are even losing 20 per cent."

Baran, UNSW's Sophie Adams and colleagues explored the implications of this in a paper published with IEEE, with the view to inform consumers on ways to mitigate this impact.


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