Two weeks ago, Jan Rieche, Polyglot Group’s Global Head of Energy, Storage and Infrastructure, was interviewed by SBS Radio to speak about new trends in Renewable Energy and Energy Storage.
What Jan finds most interesting about this topic is that Renewable Energy cannot entirely be used up at the moment when it is being generated – meaning when the sun is shining or it is a windy day etc. – but that it is actually possible to store surplus energy which cannot be used right away. This gives people the possibility to use their generated energy once prices are high, like for example in the mornings or evenings, when most energy is being used.
Further, Jan mentions that energy storage is nothing new. The novel part about it is that big factories which produce energy storage systems will now be able to make the whole trend of energy storage more affordable and worthwhile. Recent announcements of Tesla and Panasonic (sharing a newly built so called “Giga-factory” in California) publicizing a greatly reduced price for these systems have highlighted this.
Unfortunately, the new generation of storage solutions will not be designed and manufactured in Australia. Jan refers to countries such as Japan, the US or China as being most likely to participate in this new trend.
Nevertheless, the whole topic is very interesting for Australian energy consumers. Private households as well as businesses can now afford their own energy systems. They can generate about 60 – 90% of their own energy, store surplus energy and – at the same time – they can be connected to the national electricity grid. This will serve as a backup for the few weeks of the year when it is not that sunny for example.
Energy storage is of relevance especially for people located in remote areas. Not being connected to the national grid, they already have to generate their own energy and are currently doing this with diesel generators. This is, however, very expensive and does not provide an environment-friendly solution. Additionally, Jan sees a great potential for the mining industry, where the new systems can also compliment or even replace the old diesel systems.
Although the government did not plan on bringing Australia in a leading position in energy storage globally, the renewable energy market over here is growing thanks to favourable weather conditions of many sunlight hours during any given day and plenty of wind about. Australia can serve as a test-market in order to find out how and when we can store energy most effectively and efficiently or which software will be the most suitable to regulate the charge/discharge cycles.
We are on the right way to being one step close to a greener future.
Thanks for the interview, Jan!
To listen to the full interview in German, please Click Here.