Ben Hutt is the CEO & Managing Director of Evergen.
If the past decade has been about building the case for energy innovation, the next decade will be acting on what we know.
The world’s foremost authorities on science and the natural environment have been telling us that climate change is occurring, and furthermore, is an existential threat to humans and the world we live in. The scene is set for huge progress, as consumers and business recognise the growing impact of both climate change and new technologies on our energy consumption habits and lifestyle.
We now have best-of-breed renewable solutions available for residential dwellings and commercial properties at accessible prices. Yet, the slow and complex response to climate change action by our federal leaders has created confusion and delays at both a national and state level. This has resulted in convoluted state-based incentives for homeowners and businesses.
There are three areas that now need the attention of governments and industry to clear the path for wide-scale progress in the Australian market, and beyond, as we export our energy smarts.
1 – Clarity – There has been great uncertainty in the market at government level on who is taking action around climate change, who is making decisions, and what is being done – it is chaos and it needs to be clear-cut.
2 – Collaboration – In this immensely complicated multi-layered industry, we need more collaboration across network operators, distributors, installers and customers to create a common framework and together drive a smarter energy future.
3 – Action – Renewables are no longer the alternative; they are becoming mainstream and we want to spark further uptake – just like every person has a computer or mobile phone. Growth leads to demand which drives down costs and results in more efficient supply chains.
What has become more clearer to us is that software is everything and is what makes hardware perform better. If you break that down and make it all work – whether you’re selling or installing hardware, you’re a homeowner or a network operator – we need to improve integration and automation, and the key to making this possible is data and integration.
Approximately 50,000 residential batteries at an average size of 10KW/h are roughly the same kind of energy value at a short duration as a small coal-fired power station. It is now more inevitable that coal-fired power stations will become defunct and our mission is to control and orchestrate enough distributed storage in 10 different markets that we can effectively replace the capacity of a coal-fired power station in each market by 2023.
We have seen people take to the streets in Australia and all over the world in unprecedented numbers and this action generally triggers policy or leadership change. While Australia may be complicated as an environment, there are still massive inconsistencies with regard to regulation and incentives on a national level. Consumer and government action are essential for the mainstream roll out of renewable energy and it’s essential that we work together and take action now.