An interesting conversation about the ever growing amount of rooftop solar and the journey of EVs.
We have just published a new article from the REVS V2G trial about how participants in a field trial – in this case, the fleet, sustainability and asset managers – make sense of and influence technologies when a group comes along wanting to deploy and test them.
We found unexpected effects which revealed insights about what configuration of V2G might be acceptable to fleet end users. If energy market participants want V2G to solve their problems (and make them profit), they need to do the flexibility work.
Vehicle-to-grid is a niche technology that has the potential to benefit electricity markets and support more renewable energy in the grid. However, interest from prospective users in adopting V2G is not well understood, particularly in the context of fleet vehicles. Technology-oriented field trials can contribute to the development of niche technologies. Trials usually focus on making engineered systems work, institutional embedding and testing business models. However, through the participation of users they also provide the opportunity to explore processes of problem definition and the formation of social, ethical and cultural meanings. This article presents findings from the Realising Electric Vehicle-to-grid Services project, an Australian trial of vehicle-to-grid in a government-owned light passenger car fleet, aiming to explore co-productive processes as essential aspects of participatory technology development. Our data comprises interviews with organisational actors responsible for facilitating and mediating the trial, as well as others in similar organisational roles. Adopting ecologies of participation as a framework, it reveals the productive effects of these actors in mediating the local embedding of vehicle-to-grid. These findings challenge the framing of vehicle-to-grid as being a question of consumer acceptance and suggest that, for this promising technology to contribute to a more sustainable future, the electricity sector must accept more risk.
Full article: https://lnkd.in/eukchts2
Story in SBS about how an Australian physicist found a way to shave 10% off his neighbours’ power bills.
Arkadiy Matsekh changed the billing system of the embedded network of his housing complex. As a result, his neighbours are saving up to 10 per cent on their power bills.
Dr Sturmberg believes that the greatest achievement of this particular body corporate is that the community was able to reach an agreement and embrace change.
“Dr Matsekh seems to have done a lot of work by actually talking to his neighbours and getting their support,” he says.
“The bigger impact of what he has done is not kilowatt-hours of solar that he has produced. But the social expectations that he is setting in his neighbourhood.
The message to the broader society says that ‘everyone deserves access to cheap and clean power’.
This has been one of the most engaging – and out there – projects I’ve ever had been involved in. It was an absolute privelidge to work with Brad Riley and collaborators in the First Nations Clean Energy Network on the content, Mitchell Whitelaw and Dave Fanner from the Engaged ANU on the creative engagement, and Tristan Schultz from Relative Creative who designed the richly layered absurdist mnemonic experience.
My speech from the events:
Immerse yourself in an absurd wellness ritual, and design your renewable energy future in the style of a wellness EnergiZine.
In this immersive journey, we embrace the strange obsession of modern culture with wellness and extend its fascination to our energy choices. Like a vibrant metabolic soup, energy systems and sub-systems interplay, offering trade-offs and options for just transitions. Through cutting, pasting, hacking, crafting, mapping, and layering, you will design your renewable energy futures in the style of a wellness EnergiZine, tailored for your own home, workplace, and community memory places. Nourishing the soul, you’ll explore renewable energy sources that nurture our planet and promote our wellbeing.
Drawing on the intelligence of Indigenous knowledge systems, you’ll develop mnemonic techniques to store your energy knowledge for later use. Guest speakers, including First Nations experts and ANU researchers, share perspectives that enrich your EnergiZine.
Join us in this remarkable experience where wellness and energy transitions intertwine. Let the workshop’s immersive atmosphere fuel your creativity and inspire conscious choices. Don’t be left in the dark. As the sun dips below the horizon, let your EnergiZine shine, illuminating a path to a sustainable energy future for ourselves and the planet we call home.
While the pivotal role of electrification in decarbonisation has been understood for decades, it has rarely been described as vividly or enthusiastically as by Saul Griffith in The Wires That Bind. Griffith recognises that electrification is a story, at its heart, not about decarbonisation but about cleaning the air in our kitchens and streets, improving the liveability of our homes and communities, and “keeping wealth in our households and communities” – and nation. In short, electrification is a story about a better future.
While attuned to this human story of electrification, Griffith is, at heart, an engineer so it’s no surprise that The Wires That Bind is packed full of figures. Emissions are carved up, the grid is mapped and fossil machines are counted. This achieves Griffith’s goal of “clarity about the job in front of us” and complements his persuasive case for electrifying everything. The question that remains is: how can the transition best be accelerated and steered towards just and enduring outcomes?Continue reading
New article in The Conversation today. Excerpt below.
The idea is for these batteries to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills while benefiting all energy users nearby, rather than only those with access to rooftop solar. These are great ambitions – small wonder they’ve proven a hit.
But the success of these batteries is far from certain.
Over the last four years, our research has found two areas we have to fix to maximise the chances these batteries actually do what we want them to do.
First, we need greater clarity on how we decide whether community batteries are a good investment.
Second, we need better measurement and evaluation of what these batteries actually contribute to the grid and to energy users.
In a new discussion paper, this article’s lead author argues the primary purpose of community batteries ought to be addressing constraint in the local electricity grid. This reiterates a consistent finding from our research.
While this sounds reasonable, community batteries aren’t the only option to fix local grid issues. That means we should only turn to them where they are clearly better than the alternatives, such as upgrading transformers.
And what about sharing the benefits of solar with people who can’t afford an array or who have nowhere to put one? While this vision is in line with public sentiment, the complexity of the privatised energy system makes it very difficult to redistribute financial benefits.
Community batteries are also no panacea for the desire of people to see and be included in national planning for the decarbonisation transition. An inclusive planning process can address uncertainties in how the transition will affect us and our communities and ensure it upholds public values.
Time will tell if the newly announced Net Zero Authority will deliver this.
Home owners may welcome cheap loans for double-glazing or battery-ready solar but making negative gearing conditional on upgrades has been suggested as more effective for landlords.
Research shows up front costs are not the largest barrier to rental property investments in solar, and it may be the same for energy upgrades, energy expert Bjorn Sturmberg has warned.
Property investors do not believe spending money on new energy sources and appliances will get them higher rents – that’s the biggest barrier, Dr Sturmberg said on Wednesday.Continue reading
This excellent piece in pv magazine covers a lot of ground across medium-scale/community batteries with a host of voices.
My comments in the article (key ones copied below) foreshadow some work I’ll be putting out in the coming month analysing the relationships between medium-scale batteries and equity, sustainability and resilience.Continue reading