With expected reductions in costs associated with energy storage envisaged for the coming 12-18 months, it is time that the solar industry in NSW took action to showcase the potential of solar combined with storage for the residents of western Sydney.
And with the impending fast tracking of Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek, the construction of the North-West Rail Link, along with LandCom’s continual releases of land in western Sydney, the population of this area will increase significantly in a very short period. And this booming population will put a significant strain on the current electricity supply network.
What can be done to contain the cost of constructing this infrastructure demand and reduce costs for all electricity users?
We need to ensure solar combined with storage is implemented effectively on all new housing and encourage its take-up within the existing electricity market in western Sydney.
Instead of whinging and complaining about the removal of certificates and the winding back of feed in tariffs, the solar industry in NSW needs to focus on what they can do to energise the market and showcase what they can do for the residents of NSW as well as the taxpayer.
Recently ,the Federal Government announced that it would tie all future State infrastructure funding to an agreement by State Governments to sell off existing assets. In NSW our largest Government owned assets are the electricity generators and thus the need to privatise the electricity sector has received renewed pressure.
But how can the NSW Government privatise the electricity sector in the current market with the envisaged increase of solar combined with storage on the horizon? The answer is to restructure the sector prior to any sale, and therein lies the opportunity for the NSW solar industry.
The solar industry needs to develop, and market, products to the big three networks (Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy & Essential Energy) which will enable them to embrace solar combined with storage and provide pricing to entice existing customers to take up the new technology.
Now before I get cried down as a dreamer by the industry and reminded that you have been struggling for years to achieve this without gaining any ground, let’s look at a reasonably simple way to gain significant traction.
As some are aware ,over the last 12 months or so a lot of new housing releases have occurred in the Penrith, Liverpool, Blacktown & Campbelltown local areas. These land releases have been snapped up by eager home owners and developers and more land releases are planned creating yet more new suburbs.
All these land releases create a demand for new infrastructure. This infrastructure, including electricity supply, is paid for by the developer and passed onto the home owner when they buy the land. The electricity requirements are added to the grid, thus causing electricity prices to rise due to increased network costs. Change is needed.
The solar industry needs to pool its energy and talents to showcase what can be done. Envisage this, an entire new suburb/housing release which has solar combined with storage at its core for energy supply.
What’s needed is a consortium of solar industry leaders (panel & storage) to work in conjunction with a property developer/builder (such as Masterton Homes, Lily Homes, etc) to develop a range of house designs which incorporate a minimum 5KW solar system (upgradable to 10KW) with residential storage for all designs.
These properties to be augmented by substations within the release/suburb which supplies greater storage capacity to support the residential storage systems as well as additional solar generation to augment that being produced by each residence and business.
Thus you would have a new suburb which has minimal impact upon the network (containing network costs for existing customers) and providing an opportunity for the solar industry to showcase it’s potential.
So I know there are a number of operators within the NSW market who want to see solar take its rightful position as our finest and most cost effective energy source and have been building strong customer bases. But are you ready and willing to put your money where your mouth is and take a major step to redesign NSW’s energy market?
We have the technology, we can rebuild the network!
All we need is the heart and determination to take the next big step. Does the NSW solar industry have it?