Solar Production, Utilities and Battery Storage

2nd March 2016

Giles Parkinson in RENew Economy (1/3/16) discusses the ascertion by Queensland network operator Energex CEO Terry Effeney that "solar households had lost sight of their environment agenda because were using more power from the main grid than those without solar".    See: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/have-solar-households-really-sold-out-on...

Giles then goes onto say:

"There are more questions. Why, for instance, do households now continue to put in larger solar systems than they need, and beyond their ability to self-consume, particularly with the new low tariffs of less than 6c/kWh. The answer may be that they are preparing for battery storage, or for electrification and the dumping of gas hot water, or a combination of both.  ...

"But solar is not going away. Neither is battery storage, despite Effeney’s attempts to talk that down and suggest that the uptake will be as slow as electric vehicles. All the independent studies, and some internal ones, suggest that to survive into the future, network operators and other utilities, such as the retailers, need to engage with the consumer on the issue of solar and storage, not talk it down Battery storage is coming, whether Effeney likes it or not – and for the sake of his network and upgrade costs he really should be liking it. So he, like other heads of networks, should be seeing this as an opportunity rather than a threat. And on that point, public messaging is critical. Most consumers are not going to fuss over a few percentage points on tariff this or that. They will just make a decision on whether they think that the energy utility is doing the right thing or not."