Decentralised Electrical Energy
Current in Australia, 75% of all electricity consumed is generated by 3 companies. Furthermore, the majority of this power is generated in centralised locations and then transported via the power grid to the end user.
Centralised power: Why?
Historically, power stations in Australia have been located near to where their fuel source was. Either near the coal fields for coal-fired power stations, or near dams for hydroelectric. This made a lot sense, as it was a lot more economical to transport electricity via the grid than it was moving coal; and obviously you can’t move a dam.
However, the issues with this model are the costs of building the infrastructure required (Power Stations and the Power Grid) meant that competition would always be kept to a minimum.
Decentralised power: What changed?
The biggest disrupter to electricity generation has been the development of renewable energy generation. This has allowed us to generate electricity in a lot more places to where we used to be able. In fact, it has been estimated that about 13% of our electricity usage in Australia is generated by decentralised, renewable energy sources.
What are the advantages of decentralised power?
There are several advantages to decentralised power. These are:
- Cheaper power with more competition
- More efficient with less loss of power through transmission
- More reliable; you’re in control
- Lower infrastructure costs