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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

‘Home’ grids could bypass big power

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Image from lifeoffthegrid.info

The rising cost of electricity supply can be a strain on household budgets but what if there was another option?

Energy expert Dr Fereidoon Sioshansi argues that the advent of cheaper home-generation or ‘distributed generation’ could sounds the death-knell for high-tariff grid supply systems around the world, with more countries to follow as clean generation technologies become cheaper and more widespread.

Dr Sioshansi is president of Menlo Energy Economics, San Francisco, editor and publisher of EEnergy Informer, and editor of seven books on energy issues.

The University of New England is bringing Dr Sioshansi to Armidale on July 24.   to share his insights on how cheaper home-generated energy could sound the death-knell for monopoly energy companies. He will present his public lecture, The impact of decentralised electricity generation on utility business models, in UNE’s Wright Lecture Theatre.

‘The decentralised energy revolution is already underway in high retail tariff regions such as Germany, California and Australia,’ Dr Sioshansi said.

‘Advances in technology, coupled with rapidly falling costs, are allowing a growing number of customers to self-generate some or most of the electricity they need – bypassing the grid-supplied electricity.

‘For the first time in history, some residential consumers in Australia are able to meet virtually all their service needs through self-generation at costs that are on par or lower than the grid-supplied variety.

‘This phenomenon can be expected to spread as the cost of distributed generation [electricity generation from many small sources] continues to fall while the cost of grid-supplied electricity is projected to rise.

Dr Sioshansi is the editor of a new book Distributed Generation and its Implications for the Utility Industry which includes a chapter by UNE academic Judith McNeill and AGL economists Tim Nelson and Paul Simshauser.

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