It’s been a long time coming, but it seems the world is finally stepping into a new era of electricity supply and storage with off grid batteries now available for domestic use in some countries.
“Powerwall is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or when utility rates are low, and powers your home in the evening. Automated, compact and simple to install, Powerwall enables you to maximize self-consumption of solar power generation.” – www.teslamotors.com
“The Fusion Titan combines the revolutionary and cost effective salt water Aquion Energy battery with an Australian made, purpose built inverter and charge controller. This system delivers energy storage that outperforms traditional battery systems and is ideal for off-grid setup or load shifting power. Manufactured carbon neutral, Fusion energy storage systems are free of toxic chemicals, 100% recyclable, re safe and built tough for Australian conditions.” See more here.
Our high-performance energy storage solution brings you more intelligence and better value than anything else, with the industry’s lowest cost of entry and best lifetime value. It pairs seamlessly with Enphase microinverters and other solar technologies to help you make the most of your energy. Coming to the U.S. late 2016. – enphase.com
The Australian-designed ZCell is a storage system built around a unique zinc-bromine flow battery.ZCell can deliver 10 kilowatt hours (kWh) of stored energy each day, harvesting energy from solar panels or lower-cost off-peak power, for use when you need it.Installing ZCell with a suitable inverter as part of your energy management system can lower your power costs, provide resilience during grid power cuts and increase your energy independence. – Zcell
But what does this mean for traditional coal powered energy? The industry and the companies that have supplied us with the out-dated technology for so long?
According to littleblackrock.com.au there is surprisingly more investment in the coal industry’s future projects than any other fuel today. The table below compares investment by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and through other sources.
Why? Because Federal energy policies continue to support the coal mining and natural gas industries through subsidies for fossil fuel use and production as the exports by those industries contribute significantly to the earnings of foreign exchange and government revenues.(Wikipedia)
Surprisingly, solar energy is still one of the least supported industries in the world, despite it’s sunny disposition to supply clean, green energy to every corner of the globe. Daily, we have over 1000x times more solar energy striking the earth, than the amount of energy we actually consume as a whole planet.
The issue now lies with who will be able to afford to install solar, and the expensive battery storage devices currently on the market. While consumers in regions like Australia and Scandinavia may switch over quite quickly (and enjoy the luxury of being completely non-dependent with no more power bills), third world regions such as Asia will struggle to convert, seeing the IEA project continued growth in demand for coal-fired generation. Coal is also expected to become the dominant fuel in Southeast Asia. For example, India’s coal-fired capacity is expected to grow by 70 per cent by 2030. (International Energy Agency, Energy and Climate Change: World Energy Outlook Special Report, released on 15 June 2015, Paris)
On a positive note, at least 67 countries now have renewable energy policy targets of some type. In Europe, 28 European Union members states and 8 Energy Community Contracting Parties have legally binding renewable energy targets. The EU baseline target is 20% by 2020, while the USA and Australia also has a national RET of 20%.
While it is hard to say when the end of none renewable energy production will occur, the evidence is still clear that fossil fuel consumption is the leading cause of carbon emissions and fatal air poisoning in most countries, not to mention the still under scrutiny problem of climate change.
We need to invest now in renewable energy sources as much as financially possible. Supporting these innovative companies will inevitably lower the price of this technology, and send a message to our governments about which industries they should also be supporting.
Have you switched to solar? Will you be purchasing a domestic battery bank? Tell us your thoughts below or start a discussion on facebook.