Geni.Energy is looking forward to a productive and exciting 2022 as we continue to break new ground in renewable energy in Northwest NSW.
There are momentous shifts afoot in renewables. Here are a few recent changes that we find pretty exciting:
Global clean energy investment topped A$1 trillion in 2021
AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) reported that renewables reached 34.9% share of generation in Australia’s NEM (National Electricity Market) in the fourth quarter of 2021, with gas and coal generation both falling to record lows
Predictions are for renewables to provide 80% of the grid by 2030
Wind and solar generation peaked, providing 61.8% of the grid at times in November
New 5 minute settlement rules mean big coal and gas generators can no longer hold the market to ransom, forcing up prices. This will give more opportunity for batteries to support the grid
New studies linked the use of gas stoves in homes with increased asthma incidences, further justifying an All-Electric Home
The NSW government announced a $3,000 subsidy and no stamp duty for new electric vehicle purchases
Whilst at times it is hard to see these global or national trends trickling down to a local level, you can be sure they do influence our every day.
This family home in Narrabri is fitted out with solar and batteries and the app allows them to see where their energy is going. Check out other homes, businesses and farms we have installed for lately.
These bigger global and national shifts also inform Geni.Energy’s direction.
Our emphasis in the coming year is on two key areas:
1. Figure out how to make better use of the solar our region is already generating, reducing the export of dollars out of the region and creating better value for locals
2. Ways for different people/organisations/businesses and farming operations to access different types of finance to facilitate more roll out of renewables
Our research project with the University of NSW begins this month and will identify for us the suitable business models for three possible solutions to the first point above:
Community Energy Ecosystem – could a new tariff system incentivise new consumption, generation and storage patterns at a residential and business level
Community Battery – what is the best business model for a community owned battery where excess local generation could be stored and marketed to the grid
Virtual Power Plant – how would a fleet of smaller residential and business batteries help support the grid as well as create new savings or revenues for system owners
We are really excited about the opportunities that this research project will reveal, working with some of Australia’s top renewables researchers from UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute and the ARC Research Hub for Integrated Energy Storage Solutions at UNSW. In particular, Narrabri will be grappling with the new Special Activation Precinct and how this can best be powered by renewables.
And this year, we are super excited to be collaborating with The Exchange in Narrabri. This is a newly renovated historic building, that will offer meeting spaces, conference areas and a co-working space to help support innovative new businesses in the region.
Geni.Energy and The Exchange are please to be the recipients of an Electric Vehicle charger, donated to the community by world leading renewable energy company, Fimer. People can charge their Electric Vehicle whilst they have their meetings or work for the day at The Exchange. This location is just across the street from the Big Sky van park too, so travellers might also like to charge up.
We are super excited for the launch of Narrabri's very first Electric Vehicle Charger, signalling the region's step into the world of EVs.
This year will see the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service install its ElexSYS technology to its 143kW of rooftop solar that was completed last year (see more here). This system will help provide more stability to the building and grid. WAMS is already savings tens of thousands on their energy bill and once this technology is installed by our partner, Planet Ark Power, they will be able to export any excess solar too.
In our mission to make it smoother and easier for families, farms and businesses to access finance for green energy, we have already established a partnership with leading lender, Brighte. For community groups, we have been working up a package for zero interest loans with CORENA. And this year we will look at different financing models for the community battery and for on-farm energy generation and storage.
Outcomes from one of our local farms participating in a national Microgrids in Agriculture project will also be revealed this year. The project findings will help us identify more ways farms can save or create new revenue streams from renewables.
We had an overwhelming response to two workshops that we held last year – the first was on owning an Electric Vehicle in rural areas. You can watch a recording here.
The second workshop featured a panel of speakers on ‘electrifying everything, powering it all by renewables, and supporting community’. It was thrilling to have high calibre speakers such as Simon Holmes-a’-Court, Karin Stark, Tim Forcey, Matt Charles-Jones and Trent Hawkins download some of their life’s work to us in an entertaining and riveting workshop. You can watch a recording here.
We will continue to bring awesome learning opportunities to the region, hopefully more in-person events will be possible this year.
Part of our mission is to bring people along with the transition. It is crucial that our mining families have future opportunities and the only way to be part of this change is for us to pull our chair up to the table and be in conversation.
Last year the University of Technology Sydney undertook a listening tour of Narrabri, including an on-line survey (you can still participate here) and extensive chats with locals. We look forward to using your views from this process to help inform transition plans for the region.
Our team is all fired up to keep helping people transition to renewables, installing solar and batteries. We are thrilled to soon be able introduce a new team member who can continue to work one-on-one with locals to solve their energy needs too.
So stay tuned for an exciting year and join us on this journey!