“The Great Acceleration: Energy Revolutions Series 1, Episode 3”


By John Coates

Director Business Development APAC, eleXsys Energy. Developed during his formal education in Electronics and Communications Engineering, John has a passion for implementing new technologies to drive the adoption of renewable energy. Based in Singapore and having worked in senior positions at REC Solar and Cisco Systems, his experience provides a deep understanding of the technologies and industry fundamentals to assist in enabling eleXsys Energy to expand into APAC.

17 September 2020

Some of you may have been watching the ABC series “The Great Acceleration” that delves into the magnificent strides in human achievements over the past century, which throws up some philosophical and real challenges pertaining to our environment and climate change.

The Great Acceleration: Energy Revolutions Series 1, Episode 3

“Energy Revolutions” dives into the increasing energy demand for our 8 billion fellow humans, the ways we have produced and consumed power with cheap and accessible fossil fuels. Humans are facing a critical juncture for the future of our species. Carbon emissions are still increasing, despite the amazing advances in energy generation. Climate change is real, we know the causes, but is it too late?

Helplessness – the problem is too big

“Energy Revolutions” investigates these huge challenges but does not really give us any advice on how we, as individuals, can make meaningful decisions on a daily basis to address what seem too big to a challenge to make a difference. But… is the challenge too big?

Renewables vs finite resources

We have all heard about renewables. What do we really know what the term means? Renewables are simply a naturally replenished energy source, that will never run out. The sun will shine, the wind will blow, and the moon will circle the earth creating tides and waves. Each of those can produce electricity and generate no emissions.

Finite resources, there is only so much stuff you can dig out of the ground. When you run out, you run out. The choice is pretty obvious – isn’t it!

The impact of finite resources – eg: fossil fuels

“Energy Revolutions” gives us an insight into how humans have adapted to the abundance of cheap and accessible fossil fuels for production of electricity. Extracting fossil fuels out of the ground and burning them releases energy absorbed millions of years ago, effectively reverting our atmosphere to that existing before humanity. Probably not a good idea over the long term which is why we are now witnessing the devastating impacts.

That sounds drastic, what can I do?

How do you as an individual or a business do your bit with these seemingly insurmountable challenges?

The ABC Series points out that consumers are increasingly taking control by installing solar panels (or photovoltaics) on their rooftops and generating electricity locally, reducing the demand on grids built to mainly uses fossil fuels. This directly reduces your impact on the environment. (see 22m08s with Professor Stuart White)

Part of the solution: rooftop solar… with an unseen problem

At that 22m08s mark, although Professor Stuart White points to the increasing adoption of photovoltaics, what he does not point out is the limitations of the grid to support this adoption.

eleXsys Energy recently covered the topic of “curtailment” identifying the huge barrier to having ubiquitous rooftop solar. If we want every rooftop to have solar, the grid cannot support it today.

What is the unseen problem with rooftop solar? The “15% rule”

Ubiquitous rooftop solar sounds like wonderful solution, but there is one huge problem. The 15% rule…. Which roughly correlates to when the capacity of rooftop solar exceeds about 15% of the demand on your local network, no more solar can be installed. We could deep dive into the exact numbers here but let us just take that fact for granted. Once 15% of residences have solar installed, significant limitations are imposed.

(An example of this problem is seen when new customers want to connect to the grid but are not given permission, or are restricted with no export which is becoming increasingly common in Australia)

The global award-winning Australian invention that removes barriers

Senior electrical engineers and network planners of the Queensland electrical grid foresaw this problem 15 years ago and set to work to develop a hardware and AI based solution to address the exact challenges we see today.

With over 150 years of utility electrical grid experience, collaborations with leading Australian Universities, global recognition by the World Energy Council, eleXsys Energy provides a solution to enable every house and every business to have rooftop solar and to significantly reduce their impact on the environment.

With eleXsys every community will be able to install 200% of the local capacity of the network, not 15%.

Think of going from 3G to 5G in one big step. Revolutionary.

Find out how you as a homeowner, as a business owner or an individual can make a difference today: contact an eleXsys solar specialist today.

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