For far too long, the high penetration of rooftop solar in Australia has been blamed for the instability we’ve experienced in our electricity grid -- blackouts.
About 21% of households have rooftop solar installed. However, our shift towards greater energy independence comes with its share of challenges for regulators and network operators who are responsible for the grid.
It is no surprise a spate of consultations have been rolled been out to address the rising penetration of rooftop solar. From the COAG Energy Council’s consultation on Moving to a Two-Sided Market to the South Australian Government’s Consultation on Regulatory Changes for Smarter Homes, the race is on to accommodate the growth of clean energy generated from homes.
However, the reality is regulatory, and policy instruments all take time to form.
Even with the best intentions, the speed to deliver energy reforms have become urgent and waiting for the right setting to enact a rule change isn’t what we need right now. Any delays will hold back households who are looking to invest in rooftop solar and energy storage from making a decision.
While we wait for things to come together, sonnen has chosen to find a solution by getting home batteries to help stabilise the grid through a new energy offer that rewards our customers.
We’ve launched sonnenConnect, an energy offer where existing or new sonnenBatterie customers located in the National Electricity Market (NEM) - who are not on sonnenFlat or part of any VPP - get paid for making their batteries available if needed.
Nothing else changes for sonnenConnect customers other than receiving a monthly payment of up to A$41 depending on where they are located. For customers who don’t wish to change energy retailers and would like to continue to receive a feed-in tariff from their energy retailer, sonnen gives them the flexibility to keep things as they are.
Australia is the first country in the world where sonnen has chosen to launch this new energy offer. This is an exciting development for sonnen as it will allow us to participate in the Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) market which is globally expected to be valued at AUD$23 billion by 2030. sonnen has now made the FCAS market accessible to homeowners where historically, this was only available to the large generators and utilities. With sonnenConnect, we’ve made it possible for households to become an active and equal participant in the new energy system future.
Our shift towards launching a new energy offer makes it easier for customers who would like the simplicity of having a single provider for all their energy needs while getting more benefits.
Instead of commoditising the cost of electricity or energy storage, sonnen has chosen to bring innovation back to the market to provide a better solution. Blackouts would hopefully be a thing of the past as more sonnenBatterie owners choose to support other households who are part of the grid.