My bet is that batteries will count most behind the meter not on the grid
CTO Speak: Jon Keeble
I'm not a billionaire, but I know a bit about energy.
So I'm taking this week's peak-load media excitement around the intervention of Tesla founder Elon Musk and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes in South Australia's energy future with a degree of personal voltage control.
I'm no fan of investing big dollars in on-grid battery storage. Not because I'm in any way opposed to a dramatic, technology-led transformation of the electricity system. I'm all for that.
Rather, however, because the real transformative value of battery storage lies in millions of homes and small businesses, coupled with rooftop solar PV generation.
The batteries of my energy dreaming are located behind utility meters, in the capillaries of the electricity system, each one doing a micro job of balancing the grid with a macro positive impact collectively.
I'm guided in my position by the nature of batteries themselves.
Batteries don't create energy. They just store and release it. The economic value of a battery is established by two key factors:
- How many times it could be charged over its operational life.
- How many times it is actually charged and discharged over time.
- The solar+storage system actually makes energy as well as storing it
- There are little or no transmission losses, and
- The batteries are charged and discharged every day, so the economic value of each battery will end up being many times that of grid-scale batteries.