A new report concludes that policymakers and regulators are not prepared for consumer empowerment on the grid.
Tag: "battery storage"
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.
Australia has the opportunity to revolutionise electricity supplies, but is stuck in a policy vacuum. Solar ‘s attraction will never be realised without storage.
The CEO of New Zealand network operator Vector intends to broaden the rollout of its solar storage leasing package, and expects up to a third of all consumers will generate and store their own electricity. He says too many networks are locked in an old paradigm, shovelling “dumb capital” into legacy assets and passing the cost on to consumers.