A new Australian energy company whose main focus will be to help take households, businesses and whole communities off grid using renewable energy and storage technology has been launched in South Australia.
The company, called ZEN Energy, was launched on Tuesday in Adelaide by leading Australian economist – and author of Australia’s Climate Change Review – Ross Garnaut, who has also been named as chairman of the new company.
Described as Australia’s first dedicated community renewable energy provider, the company has formed out of an existing Adelaide group called Zen Industries, a solar and storage company headquartered at SA’s Tonsley innovation precinct – a former car manufacturing facility converted into a cleantech hub, which also hosts one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar installations.
Through it’s original business, ZEN Energy is already providing commercial and domestic on-grid renewable energy applications as well as off-grid applications for metropolitan, rural and regional areas, ranging from rooftop solar to powering entire communities with off-grid systems with advanced energy storage capabilities.
Moving forward, however, the new company says it will integrate a variety of other renewable resources when suitable, including wind, hydro and biomass, to provide bespoke energy solutions.
“All Australians, no matter where they live, should have the opportunity to harness affordable and clean renewable energy,” Professor Garnaut said in a statement accompanying the company’s launch on Tuesday.
“ZEN Energy represents a new and unique model of sustainable power generation, storage, delivery and retailing, and one for which the Australian consumer and the community as a whole stands to benefit.
“Households, businesses and entire communities can now become genuinely self-powered completely or substantially depending on their circumstances and preference. Australia’s energy transformation has begun.”
As mentioned above, one of the new company’s primary focuses will be to work with communities to “take ownership” of their energy demand and supply.
According to the release, the company’s ZEN Communities model will allow whole communities, shires and townships to source renewable energy for 100 per cent of their power needs, either via distributed community power networks or direct into homes and businesses.
“We are working with Australians to build a society in which renewable energy makes energy even more important to Australian living standards and development in the low-carbon world economy of the future,” Garnaut said.
“In many Australian locations and circumstances, renewable energy and storage can lower the cost of energy to households and business as well as provide protection from volatile energy prices.
“We live in a country with lower cost renewable energy resources than in any other developed or major developing country. There are no practical limits on the extent of those resources. ZEN Energy has been established to work with Australians to take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Indeed, on Monday, we reported that a new International Energy Agency report named Australia as having the cheapest rooftop solar in the world, in terms of the cost to install the technology. And many believe that the cost of storage will take a similar path to solar PV, and over a similar timeframe.
“Australian and world energy will go through massive changes over coming years. ZEN Energy has been built for agility and innovation to stay abreast of rapidly changing opportunity,” said Garnet.
According to the founder Richard Turner, ZEN Energy’s Director of Innovation and Business Development, and the founder of the company’s first iteration, ZEN Technologies in 2004, the Australian energy sector is undergoing a shift of power.
“Our team has pioneered energy storage in Australia, placing us at the global forefront of this technology and able to deliver affordable and clean renewable energy solutions now,” Turner said.
“We have a proven track record, having earned a high reputation for quality and service in delivery of energy storage systems of various sizes across Australia. Our American sister company, Greensmith, last year delivered one third of the total energy storage market in the United States. Today’s announcement takes ZEN Energy to the next level.”