Utilities need to shift the conversation to look at total value proposition for customers, or solar and storage will take their business models.
Electricity utilities can avoid their very own “Kodak moment” by becoming more customer-focused.
Abu Dhabi’s ventures into sustainability are built on oil riches, which the country is not prepared to give up – a hypocrisy shared by many other nations.
German battery storage company Younicos believes its technology can break down one of the last barriers to 100% renewable energy – the need to run fossil fuel generation to control the ‘frequency’ of the grid. Installing a series of battery parks costing about $4bn, it could remove the need for ‘must run’ coal generation in Germany.
One of the most misunderstood aspects of Germany’s green energy transition is the assumption that it’s a top-down mandate. Nothing could be further from the truth: Major generators account for just 7% of the renewable energy that now makes up nearly 25% of the country’s electricity production. Households, farmers and communities make up the rest.
The German city of Freiburg has an Australian-born mayor and an ambitious plan for renewables and urban sustainability. Like most green initiatives in Germany, it has its origins in the hatred of nuclear, but its approach is fast becoming mainstream.
Australian communities are being hit hard by high network charges, even as some network operators more than double their profits. Some are asking whether they shouldn’t buy back the grid. The Germans are one step ahead, sweeping aside large network operators who stood in the way of renewables and energy efficiency.
King Island is demonstrating the considerable potential for using renewables, energy storage and smart grid technology to break free of fossil fuels.