Neighbourhood Watts: 4 reasons to get excited about an 'energy sharing' future

Neighbourhood Watts: 4 reasons to get excited about an ‘energy sharing’ future

You’ve got to love your neighbours – always there to lend us a cup of sugar or take our bins out while we’re sinking Bintangs in Bali. Now as the world ponders its energy future, it’s time to take our relationship to the next level.

 

Yep, neighbours right across the state will soon get together to take part in the next evolution of solar energy – peer-to-peer ‘energy sharing’.

Right now, homeowners are harvesting clean energy from the sun, storing it for personal use in batteries, or selling excess energy back to the grid.

But what if we could connect individual home solar and battery installations in your neighbourhood into a virtual energy sharing network, where you get to choose who gets what, and when?

Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) are real – and they have the potential to transform the renewable energy landscape in Australia as we embark on a new era of energy democracy.

 

Here are our top 5 reasons to get excited.

  1. You have the power

No more being held ransom to rate hikes and fees. A decentralised VPP builds grids from the bottom up, putting power in the hands of people like you (not greedy corporations).

With peer-to-peer energy sharing, households essentially become mini energy producers, empowering you to take control of how you use and purchase your energy. Each network of batteries operates as a mini power station, coordinated remotely by a VPP provider. When you sign up, you agree to how

With advanced smart meters, you’ll be able to track energy use through apps, devices or web-based portals, and securely buy and sell energy in your VPP network, totally decentralised from the big energy providers.

 

  1. Show me the money

As part of a VPP network, you can sell, buy or share energy as you need it.

Need more energy to run your split systems in summer? Buy some off Dave on Green Street. Is Cheryl on Pine Terrace desperate to power her fishpond pump? Sell your excess energy at a great rate.

The return you get for offloading excess energy depends on your VPP provider. You might get paid every time your battery is accessed, or you may agree to a fixed rate up front.

Depending on the size of your battery system and the number of times your battery is accessed, your VPP provider may give you discounted electricity rates.

 

  1. Seamless energy stability

Ever noticed how power outages usually happen right when you don’t want them to? Like when you come home to a sauna in the middle of summer? Or you just want to watch Netflix on the weekend? That’s because high demand can throw the grid’s energy generation out of balance, leading to network failures that impact the lives of thousands of people.

VPPs provide greater stability. By connecting batteries in an energy sharing network, neighbours will take control over the energy they store, reducing their reliance on the grid in times of higher demand. By linking to other energy producers near you, you can form a ‘microgrid’ that’s far more resilient to network failures.

If needed, batteries can also quickly discharge energy into the grid (or charge power from the grid), which will play an important role in stabilising our state’s energy flow.

 

  1. Create a brighter future

Did you know the energy sector pumps out 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions every year?  Right now, we’re beholden to fossil fuel companies who have a monopoly on the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. How do we take meaningful steps to address climate change, if we’re not the ones in control?

Local peer-to-peer energy sharing is set to change all that. Just imagine a future where entire communities won’t have to rely on large power plants to send dirty energy through a grid? With VPPs, you can take ownership by creating stable, locally owned networks that generate clean, renewable energy, on-demand, delivered to the people who need it most, when they need it most.

It’s an exciting time to be alive.

 

Are you ready for Virtual Grid future? Talk to Solar My Home WA to find out how to prepare for energy sharing in your neighbourhood – contact (08) 6209 7709 or email info@solarmyhomewa.com.au

 

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