I was catching up on some news back home in Australia. A new suburb, (housing development) is being constructed independent of the grid. The proud new home owners will not only have a new house, but energy independence. This is a major turning point and a huge signal to the energy corporations.. Already in many parts of Australia up to 30% of home owners have solar PV, They are in most cases connected to the grid. This is a total shift away from the grid.
Part one of the solar revolution was kick started by governments in many countries offering subsidies for home owners and businesses to convert to solar. This is no longer needed as the price of solar panels and associated equipment has come down to a level where it can compete. . The second revolution is storage, and once storage is reduced in cost the grid will be redundant. The cost of storage is falling and not too far of the viable level it needs to be at. In many cases it is already there.
Property developers often have to pay huge upfront fees for infrastructure costs such as electricity. In this case they are just reinvesting into storage and solar systems for each house, in a way of subsidizing the cost. This will offer a huge sales advantage when selling the houses, after all who does not want free energy for life? (not totally free as the storage devices need replacing every few years). I believe this will be a runaway success forcing other housing developers to offer the same.
The energy companies will have no claim of people having to share infra structure costs when they are not connected to the infrastructure in the first place. I have no doubts some governments will try and tax sunlight and many spoiler tactics will come into play
The following was extracted from a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald
Australian energy companies are facing a “perfect storm” as renewable alternatives are hastening the move to off-grid electricity.Earlier this month US energy giant Brookfield announced it had signed a deal with property group LWP to build a new suburb near Newcastle, NSW, powered entirely off-grid, challenging incumbent industries to adapt or perish. The move has enormous implications for rural and regional communities throughout Australia where the tyranny of distance has often led to towns becoming stranded at the far end of a very long energy line.
Professor Andrew Blakers, Director at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, told Fairfax incumbents ought to adapt and diversify or else face “dire consequences”. “Competition from [solar], wind and storage will penalise companies that imagine that their business models don’t have to change,” he said. “While there is quite a way to go before this proposal actually comes to fruition, change is coming very quickly, and these sorts of proposals will become ever more common, with dire consequences for traditional business models.”
Simon Hackett, chair of RedFlow —an Australian company that designs off-grid batteries — told Fairfax the Australian energy industry is facing a “perfect storm”. “The combination of high energy prices, widespread deployment of photovoltaic solar panels (PV), a ready supply of sunshine and the looming presence of widespread, affordable and effective energy storage systems is encouraging customers to look for other ways to supply their energy needs,” he said.
“If energy companies ignore the opportunity to diversify, by embracing the energy storage revolution, someone else — potentially their existing customers — will eat their lunch. They missed the rapid solar uptake and they cannot afford to miss storage as well.”