Moving to Grid 2.0
“Smart energy is a simple concept – it is about putting the past behind us and moving to Grid. 2.0 and one of the key challenges lies in collaborating with a network built more than 100 years ago. That is not easy but we are moving from Grid 1.0 to 2.0”. So says Nigel Morris who was one of several industry identities placed under the spotlight during ‘Green Seat’ interviews at the Smart Energy Show. There Professor Martin Green declared transformation toward smart energy is all the more vital because of the carbon intensity of existing processes.
“Smart energy means future energy and we are in the midst of a transformation in the way we produce energy, and we need this transformation because of the carbon intensity of existing processes,” Professor Green says. “We need more of this; that is energy that is low on carbon intensity, and this is exciting in its potential to promote local companies and industries.”
Who would disagree?
Well, quite a few – and they form a huddle at Parliament House.
“The key issue facing the smart industry sector is probably the political situation in Australia. We have a large group of politicians who are sticking their heads in sand and living in the past [but] we have to hope they will realise that we are in the midst of an energy transition, and that holding on to old fashioned views and things that worked in the past fails to position Australia for the best possible future.
“It’s important to work together so that we have a voice that cannot be ignored, the more that realise the energy transformation that is underway and the potential of low carbon energies.”
Professor Green holds some excitement over the future in particular the pioneering role that Australia is playing in many aspects, pointing out that South Australia has more renewables than any other state in the world.
“As a researcher I can see Australia is leading the world in developing technologies that lead to commercial production,” he said.
During his ‘green seat’ interview Professor Green commented that the quality of exhibits at this year’s show stands out, and this showcases industry in the best possible light.
Which brings us to the big week for the Smart Energy Council and the 5000 show participants who gained a closer look at smart energy in action from industry exhibitors and insights from guest speakers. The novel Energy Pavilion – a first for the Council - proved a valuable link between interested households and “grass roots” industry technicians.
On the sidelines of the Energy Revolution Pavilion were several groups poised to make a difference, among them Sine Hub, Zeromow, the tireless Solar Citizens campaigners and DC Power.
With a tagline By solar people, for solar people, DC Power is on a mission to upset the power balance between solar owners and big energy, traditional retailers in Australia who “have an outdated business model designed to sell you power”.
DC Power says it wants to reward solar owners with cheaper bills, better feed-in tariffs, transparency around how their investment is actually working, genuine guidance on how to get more out of their solar and wholesale top-up prices for when they need a little extra from the grid.
To help achieve this they are inviting all Australians to join in building the company by becoming shareholders. The investment offer closes soon, but already DC Power Co. is the world’s largest equity crowd-funding campaign of a new business, they claim, having hit a milestone with nearly 16,000 people investing $2 million to build the power company of the future.
Co-Founder Nick Brass says together, we'll have the power to create genuine change and build a company focused on solar people's needs.”
Innovation is as the core of Zeromow which is providing a free loan of a cordless battery powered equipment that is powered by 100 percent renewable energy to trim greenhouse emissions caused by leaf blowers, mowers, brush cutters and chainsaws.
Kathleen Ryan of Solar Analytics steered us to the Arvio stand to view the supercapacitor that is touted the energy storage system of the future, one that will eclipse lead or lithium.
Innovation was very much on show at the more than 100 stands, but this short wrap serves as a simple snapshot of the level of diversity.
Once more a big thank you to Platinum Show Sponsors: One Stop Warehouse, Alpha-ESS and Energy Power Systems and gold sponsors AC Solar Warehouse, Emerging Energy, LG and Risen Solar Technology.