Ai Group head: lack of energy security bad for industry

Ai Group head Innes Willox (AMTIL)

Ai Group head Innes Willox (AMTIL)

Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) chief executive Innes Willox has said that energy insecurity like the power failure from the South Australian blackouts is causing industry to pursue bad business outcomes. 

Willox said concern about energy supply is leading industry to bad business outcomes. 

“Energy insecurity is also driving businesses to install diesel generators and households to consider batteries. The former are not a good environmental outcome, and both kinds of investment will in practice usually sit idle and do nothing to help individual energy users or the grid as a whole,” Willox said.

“However, both distributed generators and batteries could do a lot to stabilise the system and help everyone – if owners and investors had an incentive to operate them that way.”

Batteries are being installed in households and remote sites to back up solar and wind farms. Batteries remain too costly for wide-scale deployment but Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel has said that their cost is falling by 75 per cent each decade.

“Batteries with modern power electronics are very versatile and they can be called upon and reprogrammed even in future to meet the needs of the system,” Finkel said.