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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Standards committee favours power distributors

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Jim Beatson, Byron Bay.

In response to Giles Parkinson’s article Lithium-ion battery storage may be banned in Australian homes, about eight years ago, when installing solar on the roof in my Byron Bay townhouse, eight years ago, my electrician, who is extremely thorough and has worked in Byron Shire for several decades, noted that because I lived in a town house, what he wanted to do, although there was no risk associated with it, might be illegal due to compliance with Australian Standards.

He urged me to make formal representation to the Australian Standards for a modification of their standards. It was then, and probably still is, an Australian/New Zealand standing committee.

As a result all members of that committee became aware of my representation. A number of them contacted me and said that my request was perfectly reasonable and practical, and would support me and that it had wider implications for the expansion of renewables.

When the meeting happened it was rejected. Privately committee members later told me that although they spoke in support of the proposal and constituted a majority on Council, the two largest bodies on the Council who both represented the largest, power distributors in both countries, and who were in a virtual monopoly situation, effectively vetoed the presentation.

As Giles Parkinson reports the Australian Standards committee includes “representatives from the solar and storage industries (both lithium-ion and other technologies), networks, consumer groups, fire authorities and independent consultants” their voices are likely to count for little.

As is the case with Malcolm Turnbull’s capitulation to the fossil fuel industry, it would not surprise me if this is another case of how the power distribution companies are trying to screw renewable industries, even down to the level of dominating this particular Australian Standards committee.


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