Australian network operators have had an epiphany. The future lies in solar and storage and smart technologies, and the utilities have to cater for customer needs. But is too late?
South Australia coal-free update: Wind energy provided more than South Australia’s demand for more than 10 hours on Sunday.
Need a complementary energy storage system that is well established globally, can handle massive capacity requirements and allow seasonal storage? How about pumped hydro.
Assets that are already paid for, easily available and generally idle for periods of time are the fuel for disruption. And that includes electricity networks.
Critics of Germany’s Energiewende often point to increased energy costs for industry. But new research confirms energy costs have fallen sharply since 2010, the year before Chancellor Merkel’s nuclear phaseout.
The International Renewable Energy Agency is proving a valuable resource. Tasmania could have taken some of the “Islands: lighthouses for renewable energy” information on board and avoided some of its recent issues.
It is hard to imagine a day when fossil fuels will be used sparingly. But with carbon now officially a liability, and renewables moving mainstream, chances are humanity can kick the habit much faster than previously thought possible.