Battery storage systems to be allowed to export energy in WA from December

The Australian electricity industry is being “Uber’d” by battery storage technology, according to comments from West Australian energy minister Mike Nahan, a process he predicts will fundamentally change the nature of the system.

Speaking at a battery storage conference in Perth, Nahan revelaed battery storage installations in WA would be allowed to export back into the state’s grid from December 1, reversing what he had described as a major error from the state-owned electricity utilities.

He said it was up to authorities to allow technology to challenge “the existing paradigm” of investment.

“In other words, the electricity industry, like the taxi industry, is getting Uber’d,” Nahan said.

“Technology, innovation, entrepreneurship love monopolies because they love to attack them and that’s what’s happening.”

Nahan’s comments follows those earlier this year when he said that solar would become the dominant technology in the WA electricity market, meeting all daytime demand within a decade and pushing out coal-fired generation.

That represents a major turnaround from the former head of the Institute of Public Affairs, who had a skeptical view of renewable energy, as well as climate change.

The transformation of the grid through solar, however, will be put to the test by the ability of the government to allow technologies and new investors to challenge its state-owned utilities.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson