From The Guardian, 13 June 2017:
To illustrate the impact of battery storage on the electricity network in Australia, Prof Guoxiu Wang likes to compare it to the invention of refrigeration.
“Before people invented the fridge, we produced food, we consumed food immediately,” says Wang, director of the Centre for Clean Energy Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney. “With the development of appropriate electricity storage technology, the electricity is like our food – you can store it and whenever you need that electricity, you can use that immediately.”
Batteries as a means to store electricity are nothing new. But with solar photovoltaic units now found on 16.5% of Australian residential roofs, battery storage has stepped into the big league. What was once viewed as an add-on to solar photovoltaic is now driving a revolution in the energy sector and turning the concept of a national electricity grid upside down.
The chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel’s report on the future of the national electricity market gives a glimpse of how profound this change will be. The report cites data suggesting that by 2050, 30% to 45% of annual electricity consumption (pdf p62) could be supplied by consumer-owned generators; namely, rooftop solar photovoltaic and battery storage.
This represents a huge opportunity for consumers, and a huge challenge for electricity providers. Read more.