Australia’s electricity prices are low by global comparisons, but we are now seeing price increases as a result of the modernisation and build out of the distribution grid to support peak load growth.
Peak growth is driving energy suppliers to increase spend on grid infrastructure to meet the increased loads. This is what is driving power bills higher; smarter electricity grids can help reduce bills by allowing the network to flatten demand.
Encouragingly, we are seeing signs of a fundamental and positive change in how Australia manages energy generation and distribution through innovative technology.
The Australian Government has committed $100 million to develop the Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration project partnering with the energy sector. AusGrid will demonstrate Australia’s first commercial-scale smart grid in Newcastle, NSW, alongside GE and other consortium partners.
A smarter grid provides many benefits. Smart meters help energy consumers get better visibility of how they are using energy. What we’ll see in future is smart appliances that can regulate their consumption and choose to be powered in off-peak times, reducing the burden on the grid and overall cost of power bills.
From a business perspective, the companies that will experience greatest financial benefit are those that get in early, reduce energy demand, manage energy smartly and change their energy mix towards lower-carbon electricity.
About Mark Vachon
Five years ago, GE invested US$5 billion in a subsidiary created for the research and development of clean technologies. Since then, GE ecomagination has generated US$70 billion in revenue. Vice President, Mark Vachon, will spill the dirt on clean technologies at the inaugural Australian Chambers Business Congress, June 1-3.
Posted: 21/04/2011 8:57:09 AM
by Mark Vachon
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