Could adding fixed grid charges to the bills of solar customers encourage more people to ditch their utility?
Tag: "battery storage"
SunPower has flagged the introduction of battery storage into the commercial market in 2015 in Australia, as it looks to rapidly expand its home energy service offerings.
Battery storage costs are falling much faster than predicted, providing benefits to consumers and network operators.
There is a lot of focus on the ability of battery storage to shift peaks and store energy for hours, or even days. But energy systems with high renewables penetration will need longer term solutions – hydrogen, compressed air, pumped hydro are three technologies being looked at in Australia and elsewhere.
Networks are facing the biggest challenge to their business model since poles and wires were first erected a century ago. It will need new concepts such as a ‘thin pipe’ model to control costs, retain customers and avoid having stranded assets. Otherwise, they will fall victim to solar ‘guerrillas’.
Which suburb, or town, will be the first to take itself off-grid in Australia? It’s now a serious question, driven by the plunging cost of solar and the arrival of battery storage. ARENA, meanwhile, is looking at novel ways to ensure rooftop solar is available to the lowest income households, renters, and apartment dwellers.
Ergon Energy, which operates the sprawling regional electricity network that covers 97 per cent of Queensland, says ‘times are changing’ and renewables and battery storage may soon be cheaper for domestic consumers than grid power. But it warns that current subsidies are delaying innovation and investment.