Batteries change home power demand

Power WindmillElectricity demand oscillates across the 24 hours of an average day, with morning and evening peaks exaggerated by seasonal impacts. Historically on the Australian east coast these variations have been satisfied by a generation fleet of base load coal, gas peakers and hydro that can both generate or store electricity for later by pumping water uphill. A significant portion of the hugely expensive generation fleet is positioned just for peak demand days (such as the prolonged heat of early February when air conditioners run flat out).

Wholesale power pricing is already extremely volatile, but now new age generation in the form of wind turbines, solar panels and batteries are set to boost pricing volatility. The experience to date from the windfarm fleet is that the best winds are blowing overnight, when electricity demand is low, occasionally pushing power prices negative. In addition, the arrival of new technology batteries for homes [see the link below] will allow domestic (and commercial) solar panels to extend their usefulness into the early evening demand peaks.  Fluctuating government policies has been adding to this complicated picture.

The value chain in power generation is changing significantly. Escalating power prices have been forcing consumers to reduce demand and now new technology is impacting electricity demand across the day.

There will be winners and losers in this value chain as new technology disrupts. The normal pattern is those closest to their customers will be best placed.