Remember the days when it seemed every time the temperature reached over 35 degrees we had a blackout? The grid simply couldn’t handle the massive draw of power to cool down our State’s homes and businesses.
That’s rarely the case these days. With one in four homes having rooftop solar, South Australia is well and truly capable of powering our needs when the sun is shining. Now a new challenge has emerged for SA Power Networks – what to do when we have too much power.
ABC’s Lateline recently reported on this exact conundrum as the State finds itself with an unstable network due to the unexpected take up of solar and batteries. Full article here.
What is great is the wide acknowledgment from Government and the power industry for the need to go green. What is also interesting is that as Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, points out the Government’s solutions to stabilise the network could actually push up electricity prices, which would 1) push even more people to solar and batteries but 2) leave those without solar and batteries left to bear the inflated costs.
Homes and businesses can protect themselves against these blackouts and further power price hikes by having their own back-up power (such as batteries and/or generators) or going completely ‘off grid’. And more and more people are doing it.
When there’s disruption there’s always some chaos. In SA it means having a few blackouts every now and then for a greater good as we shift further away from coal, which we all know is not good for the planet.
Well done to our State for adopting such a forward thinking view of renewable energy. But let’s not make it harder for the further introduction of battery storage. Now is our time to work collaboratively with SA Power Network. As a home or business owner we can do this by taking up the technology. Another example of how you and I can make a difference is by being open to the the introduction of peer to peer sharing of power. So when I have excess power and my neighbour needs it I can sell or share it with them. Imagine!