I've been having a think about a new form of feed-in tariff that is the direct counterpart to the usage-based ones that vary the pricing according to the amount fed into the grid at a particular time of day. I have never really been a fan of both the gross feed-in tariff and net feed-in tariff models that are around since they came into existence. Gross feed-in tariffs do not reward energy efficiency measures at all and are overly compensatory in nature, while net feed-in tariffs require a significantly sized system without attempts to cut existing energy use, with a markedly longer payback period in comparison to a system using a gross feed-in tariff.
This new feed-in tariff would be called a Time-of-Generation Feed-In Tariff. The aim is to reward those who conserve electricity use in the morning and afternoon peak demand periods by paying for a net feed-in to the grid at a higher price according to demand, and also would make the installation of west and east facing systems more viable in terms of a payback period. Ideally, this tariff would be matched to those who are on Smartpower or other similar price-dynamic usage tariffs. What it does is takes elements of both the gross and net feed-in characteristics and rewards those who help to address periods of peak demand. This would also help reduce the use of coal-fired and gas-fired generation during the peak periods and smooth out the demand curve for electricity usage.
Instead of the traditional north-facing system that is installed to capture the midday peak generation period, this would encourage more east and west-facing systems to reduce the effect of morning and afternoon peak demand periods. It would also be fairly simple to implement by using a dedicated meter to measure the amount of electricity being exported at particular times of the day instead of being imported, or even upgrading existing smart-meters to incorporate the additional function. It may also help to make the installation of residential wind systems to be more viable, such as in WA in summer when a regular afternoon breeze comes in during the peak demand period.
I may even plan to base a Masters dissertation on this during future postgraduate studies at Murdoch, which would include modelling to determine the expected effect on peak demand and overall cost of electricity generation, using WA's SWIS system as an example.