Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
Affordable home energy storage coupled with solar offers amazing potential. But if solar retailers really want to help their customers lower their power bills there's a few other options they should consider first.
AEMO's recent analysis of battery uptake also looked at the potential increase in electricity demand from households abandoning gas. It found not that big an increase in electricity demand, but once you take into account electricity appliances' superior energy efficiency it suggests residential gas consumption would plummet.
By cherry picking data utilities are suggesting that unless solar reduces the amount of capacity of the transformer in your street, then it makes no difference to the billions of dollars in network assets sitting upstream. It's time for an audit of their books.
New research finds automakers can meet the US 2025 fuel economy targets more easily and cheaply than had been expected — all without resorting to a slew of expensive electric vehicles, but through development of "conventional" technologies and designs.
The energy regulator showed that SA Networks tried to pull the wool over others' eyes with its selective use of customer demand data. Networks are on the verge of making some changes to tariffs with far bigger impacts than the carbon price. Yet we lack the data to ensure such changes are in the community's interests.
In trying to protect their electricity business network distributors are trying to distort the idea of reforming power prices to be more 'cost-reflective' by making them like unavoidable fixed charges. This will then make consumption of a unit of energy from electricity appear far cheaper. Which incidentally will then drive an exodus from gas, hurting these same utilities' gas businesses.
State Government releases energy efficiency statement that hints at regulations to upgrade rental stock and require disclosure of energy efficiency performance of homes at sale or lease - pity it's eleven years late.
New research by our grid operator suggests minimal market for home energy storage or electric vehicles, but not because batteries will be too expensive but rather because they think solar will get more and more expensive.
Energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport would bring Australia’s emissions back to 2005 levels by 2030. Then switching to renewables in the electricity sector, and powering more sectors with that green energy, plus some land use changes and a switch to biofuel and gas in some areas, would finish the job.
The e-version of the popular seller is a major step towards mass adoption of all-electric transportation, and if Australia helps facilitate this transition it will herald a 90% reduction in fuel consumption.
Batteries, microgrids, automated devices ... these are the ideas dominating our view of Australia's future grid. But changing lifestyle patterns too, such as our rapidly evolving approach to pet ownership, means the grid'll be defined by more than just technologies.
The EPA has proposed rules requiring manufacturers of semi-trailers, pickups and vans - responsible for 20% of the country's transportation emissions, and about 5.4% of total emissions - to reduce fuel consumption by up to 24%.
You hear some wild things said against solar, wind and energy efficiency. Among my list of favourite such furphies is that grids can only handle 5% renewables, the developing world will reach Western per capita consumption and merit-order makes solar worthless.
We admit it, our battery price projections were much more conservative than what Tesla has unveiled. A 7-year accelerated price reduction opens up cost-effective 'solar plus storage' for tens of millions more.