Batteries, batteries….that is all we have been hearing of recently. This rapid movement to batteries will undoubtedly impact on the suppliers of electrical power such as power stations and the transmission/distribution networks as the use of batteries at homes will increase strongly. Driven by reducing costs of installations. And some very enthusiastic vendors such as Tesla who are all determined to drive the prices downwards with great vigour. Well, so they claim.

Dear colleagues,

Batteries, batteries….that is all we have been hearing of recently. This rapid movement to batteries will undoubtedly impact on the suppliers of electrical power such as power stations and the transmission/distribution networks as the use of batteries at homes will increase strongly. Driven by reducing costs of installations. And some very enthusiastic vendors such as Tesla who are all determined to drive the prices downwards with great vigour. Well, so they claim.

Microgenerators Galore
This will mean that we are going to be in a position where we have many little micro generators (with photovoltaic cells and batteries) scattered around the suburbs and towns who will sell power back to their local  utility particularly whenever there is peak usage of electricity. In other words the power distribution companies have a opportunity to do some trading not only in reselling power from the traditional coal or gas fired power stations but also from all these micro generators scattered around the suburbs who want to sell their power at peak consumption times. The power distribution companies add value in that they have the ‘poles and wires’.

All Systems Green for the Smart Grid
Suddenly distribution companies have a real opportunity to implement the smart grid concept with some significant economic returns. What makes it all very interesting is that generators won't need to build a new power station to handle these peak loads but can merely harness existing power from the individual micro generators scattered around the countryside.
 
Pricing is a Big Challenge
One of the biggest challenges naturally is to get the price right. So that those living in apartments who don't have solar panels (and batteries) can still find the price of power beneficial. In other words they won’t have to pay as much for their power with the use of micro generators against if they were forced to use the traditional coal fired or gas fired generator power supply exclusively.

Without any shadow of doubt – once we have a burgeoning market of micro generators with the power utilities acting as facilitator – the days of monopoly pricing driven by obscure government agencies will be gone. The genie will have finally escaped.

Big changes are coming. The question for you – whether you work for a power utility or just use power - is this: how do you take advantage of these changes to improve your business/career and life?

Yours in engineering learning,

Steve

Mackay’s Musings – 9th Feb’16 #586
125, 273 readers – www.idc-online.com/blogs/stevemackay

 

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