Energy companies are facing an uncomfortable truth: one day not all households will require their services. The concept is finally taking off, thanks to increasingly powerful batteries that can store wind and solar en ergy for use when the sun is not shining or wind blowing. In Germany, about 20,000 households are already part of an initiative, launched by energy storage company Sonnen, which connects homes that independently produce energy. Sonnen’s virtual network allows them to buy and sell excess energy to each other at a reduced cost. In Brooklyn, a start-up called LO3 Energy is testing a similar system that allows neighbours to buy and sell energy on a microgrid. Such ideas could change lives in a way that compares with w hat mobile phones have done in the past decade, said Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute in Seoul. “Mini-grid electricity based on solar and batteries is a revolution that can bring affordable energy to all citizens,” he said.
FT 22nd Dec 2017 read more »